Graduation season is upon us, which also means football camp season is just around the corner.
Ohio State has a half-dozen planned for June, continuing a long tradition of opening up the doors of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to youth of various ages to learn how the Buckeyes are built.
Of course, there is more to it than that.
The camps also offer Ohio State a crucial chance to see numerous potential prospects up close and in person from Ohio and beyond.
On the flip side, the camps offer the opportunity for players to show coaches why they might be worthy of a scholarship offer now or in the future.
Attendance can also be interpreted as an indication of how interested a player is in being a Buckeye and can sometimes be the difference between earning a scholarship offer or not.
Marc Givler, who covers recruiting for BuckeyeGrove.com and the Rivals network, said he expects Ohio State coach Ryan Day and his staff to utilize camps in a similar fashion to Urban Meyer, who retired in January after seven years at the helm.
“I think they're going to want to use their two one-day elite camps as well as Friday Night Lights as three evaluation opportunities to try and get some of their top guys there,” Givler said.
Trotwood-Madison cornerback Sammy Anderson is among a handful of Ohioans who could secure an offer with a strong performance at one of the Buckeyes’ camps according to Givler.
Anderson, who is also a basketball standout for the Rams, recently received an offer from Michigan State to go with more than 20 from Division I schools. The group also includes Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati and Duke according to 247Sports.com.
Other Ohioans to keep an eye on are Grandview Heights tight end Luke Lachey (the son of St. Henry/Ohio State great Jim), Elyria Catholic offensive lineman Branson Taylor, Columbus Walnut Ridge athlete Qian Magwood, Pickerington North receiver Chris Scott, Winton Woods running back Miyan Williams, Manchester athlete Ethan Wright and Mansfield tight end Clay Caudill.
Here are the basic for each camp option this year:
Ohio State will kick things off with its youth camp on June 3-4.
For players entering fifth through eighth grade, it is open to anyone and will emphasize football fundamentals on offense and defense but not special-teamers.
For this camp, participants will arrive each day at 9 a.m. and be dismissed at 3:30 p.m. The cost for this camp is $225, and the deadline to register is May 25. Late registrations and walk-ups will pay an extra $25.
Specialists (kickers, punters and snappers) get their day June 15 with a one-day camp specifically for them.
That one is $100 to attend and also has a registration deadline of May 25 with those who miss the deadline (and walk-ups) being subject to a $25 fee as well.
Also on June 15 is the second of two one-day camps for ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th graders.
Those are also open to anyone and will cater to offensive and defensive skill players in the morning and offensive and defensive linemen in the afternoon. The other one-day camp will be June 6. The June 6 camp costs $50 while the June 15 version is $75. The deadline to register for the June 6 camp is June 4 with June 12th the deadline for the June 15 edition.
On June 12-13, Ohio State is planning “Ohio’s Fundamental Camp.”
Also open to players entering ninth grade and up, it will give players a chance to participate in Ohio State skill development drills specific to their position while also learning strength and speed training techniques. This camp has an overnight option for $275. Those not staying overnight will pay $175. In each case, the deadline to register is May 27 but walk-ups and late registrations are accepted for an additional $25.
Finally there is a new attraction this year: On June 17, Ohio State will host a seven-on-seven camp for players in ninth through 12th grades.
That is open to all teams with a morning instructional session to be followed by a single-elimination tournament. Teams are guaranteed at least five games.
“The seven-on-seven angle is interesting,” Givler said. “It may be a better way to help build relationships with Ohio high school coaches and coaches around the region for that matter who can bring their teams in, but overall I don't think there will be any huge differences in how June camp season is approached.”
All camps — with the exception of the specialists camp — require campers to bring a helmet and will be held at the newly renovated Ohio State football facility at 535 Irving Schottenstein Dr.
The specialists camp will be held at Ohio Stadium.
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