As we discussed last week, not everyone is convinced that satellite camps are really a necessary part of recruiting. But I think it's also safe to say that even those coaches who are doing them aren't yet 100% sure how they'll use the camps in the long term.
One emerging use? Protecting your home turf. So far Kirby Smart's Georgia staff is signed up for eight satellite camps. All but one (at Birmingham's Samford University) will take place within the state of Georgia, four in the metro Atlanta area.
It's tempting to ask why Smart and his staff are so busy in the backyards of recruits who could (and in many cases will) themselves drive to Athens for camps this summer. The short answer is "because the other schools will be." In addition to nearly all the SEC schools, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Iowa are among the schools who will have a camp presence in the state of Georgia this summer. One could argue that Smart and company really don't have a choice. When you're being invaded by that many enemies, not showing up on the battlefield isn't an option.
During the fifteen day window between June 2nd and June 16th the Bulldog staff or some portion thereof will spend ten days instructing at eight different camps:
June 2: Maynard Jackson HS (organized by Cedar Grove H.S.)
June 3-4: Mercer University
June 5: Lassiter High School
June 7: West Georgia University
June 9-10: Woodland-Stockbridge H.S.
June 11: Samford University
June 15: Cartersville HS (held at Lakepoint Sports Complex)
June 16: Buford HS (camp organized by Georgia Southern)
If there's anything disappointing in that it's that Smart and company aren't looking likely to make it to Charlotte, south Florida, Texas, New Orleans, Washington D.C. or a number of other locations where an appearance might mean serious recruiting inroads. But given that Smart has carved out that two week period as the only time his staff will be at these camps, it's looking like Smart's strategy is to protect the home front rather than to expand the kingdom. Until later . . .