Mercer football head coach Bobby Lamb sees positives and negatives in satellite camps, and he’s not sure they will last long term. But the Bears are jumping right into the satellite camp setup Friday and Saturday with their first elite camp of the summer.
Working the camp the next two days, along with the Mercer coaches, will be coaches from several SEC and ACC programs, including Georgia and Georgia Tech.
“When the satellite camps opened up, we started getting calls, ‘Hey, you’re having a camp; we’d like to come,’ ” Lamb said, “because Georgia is a heavily recruited state, and we’re in Middle Georgia. Basically what they’re hoping to get out of it is, ‘I’m coming in here, and we have a young man we’re recruiting who is 30 minutes from Macon,’ and those coaches get to come here to watch him instead of the kid having to go all the way to their campus.
“My thoughts were, ‘OK, we’re having the first two out of the gate. Let’s have these coaches here, and we can get more kids on our campus.’ ”
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Lamb’s program typically has five elite camps with 100 to 125 players attending, and he is expecting at least 300 this week.
There will be a testing phase, what Lamb called the “combine stuff,” in the 40-yard dash, shuttle drill, long jump and broad jump. The second phase will include individual drills with each position coach and group drills, and finally there will be a seven-on-seven setup.
Lamb sees the positives of having the extra players on his campus and players getting more chances to be viewed by programs and coaches, but he noted negatives about the camps: losing a personal touch with the extra players attending, coaches losing down time during the summer and the possibility of recruiting issues. He said he wished the discussion had been tabled for a year so it could be reviewed before the camps were allowed.
“It’s opened a can of worms,” Lamb said. “I just don’t see this lasting very long. There are just so many conflicts right now. Everybody was all for it, and the coaches were excited about it, but now we’re out talking to coaches in recruiting, and they’re saying, ‘Man, I don’t know.’
“There are just so many unknowns.”