Perspective of eras
Christian Heritage coach Preston Poag was a quarterback for three seasons at North Carolina State from 1987-1989. He says recruiting is much different now.
“When I was playing, you went to camps,” Poag said. “I’d go to different quarterback camps and stuff like that. They had that for multiple days. But it’s all these one-day things that they do.”
Land was a defensive back at Auburn University and graduated in 1987. He also said the one-day camps weren’t around as much back then, and he believes there are other ways high school prospects can sell themselves.
“One of the things is kids have been so through the Internet and YouTube that there’s a self-promotion element they have to do if they’re not one of these high-marquee kids. Maybe that does assist in recruiting somewhat, but our experience is the program you’re playing for can do as much recruiting as anything else. That’s the great thing about Dalton. College coaches will come to our program. The tradition and name draws coaches as well to an area. ... I still think the most effective way to get kids to the next level is coaches having a good relationship with college coaches.”
Coahulla Creek coach Jared Hamlin, who said he had 32 Division I offers as an offensive lineman and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1991, believes the one-day camps also cause a financial strain on the kids and their families.
“When it starts costing kids money, that’s when I’m not sure if it’s worth it,” Hamlin said. “There are some kids who can’t afford it. It could cost $100 to attend a camp and then money for gas and what-not, there are some families who can’t afford it.”
But that’s life for most players in the Northwest Georgia region. You better enjoy the sport to put up with the letters, phone calls, and above all else, eight-hour trips across multiple state lines.
“If football is important to you and you think you have a chance, then it’s probably something you need to do,” Southeast Whitfield coach Sean Gray said.