USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities to play at the college level. Joe Lecessi is a former college-athlete and coach at the NAIA level, where he earned an NAIA National Championship. Joe is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches, and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience, and dedication along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation, and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
Attending a college football camp can offer many benefits including quality training and exposure to college coaches.
With summer well underway, you may be scrambling for last-minute options, if you haven’t found one already. Look no further—here is a list of D1 football camps you still have time to register for and the good news is they all cost less than $100.
Before you register
There are a few steps you can take to make the most of your camp experience. First, do your research on the school and program before you register for camp. To maximize your opportunities, only attend camps where you can actually get recruited, so it’s important to measure how you stack up both athletically and academically.
Then, build a relationship with the coach ahead of time. Ideally, you want to be on their radar before you arrive for camp to improve your chances of being evaluated. Just showing up won’t guarantee you’ll get noticed by college coaches. That’s why you need to be strategic in choosing the right camp to attend.
Read more: Find College Football Camps
25 D1 football camps less than $100
Here are 25 camps across the country (register soon—some are coming up quick!):
- University of Alabama—Birmingham’s Night of Champions Prospect Camp. Cost: $40; Date: July 25.
- Arkansas State University’s Wolf Club Youth Camp. Cost: $75; Date: July 16.
- Florida International University’s OL/DL Camp. Cost: $25; Date: July 28.
- University of Louisiana—Monroe’s ULM Football Showcase. Cost: $40; Date: July 22.
- University of Nevada – Reno’s Nevada Friday Night Grit Football Camp. Cost: $30; Date: July 27.
- United States Military Academy’s Day Camp. Cost $75; Date: July 28.
- Penn State’s Underclass Showcase III. Cost: $45; Date: July 29
- Marshall University’s Elite Showcase Camp. Cost: $50; Date: July 22.
- University of Texas – San Antonio’s Alamo City Showcase. Cost: $40; Date: July 25
- University of Delaware’s Prospect Camps (including specialists). Cost: $60; Date: July 21 or 22.
- Kennesaw State University’s Prospect Camps. Cost: $50; Date: July 16.
- Southern Illinois University—Carbondale’s Saluki Elite Camps. Cost: $45; Date: July 17.
- Valparaiso University’s Individual Camps. Cost: $40; Date: July 18.
- Eastern Kentucky University’s Prospect Camps. Cost: $40; Date: July 13 and 14
- Towson University’s OD/DL Camp or Specialist Camp. Cost: $50-$75; Date: July 14 or 15.
- Southeast Missouri State University’s Individual Camp or Specialist Camp. Cost: $30-$75; Date: July 14 or 15.
- Jackson State University’s Tigers Under the Lights Camp. Cost: $30; Date: July 19.
- Colgate University’s Specialist Camp. Cost: $60; Date: July 29.
- University of Dayton’s One-Day High School Camp. Cost: $35; Date: July 16.
- Youngstown State University’s Thursday Night Football Camp. Cost: $50; Date: July 26.
- Bucknell University’s Specialist Camp. Cost: $80; Date: July 22.
- University of Rhode Island’s OL/DL Camp. Cost: $50; Date: July 28.
- Charleston Southern University’s Rising Stars Prospect Camp. Cost: $40; Date: July 20 and 21.
- Eastern Washington University’s Skills Camp. Cost: $70; Date: July 28.
- Sam Houston State University’s 2018 Elite Camp. Cost: $45; Date: July 21.
How to make the most of your camp experience
You can take control of your camp experience and make it a positive one by following a few simple tips:
- Be prompt. College coaches notice student-athletes who arrive late. Double check registration and start times to ensure you’ll get there early.
- Bring all the essentials. You want to be at your best when competing in front of college coaches. Make sure you have all the equipment you need to do just that—mouth guards, cleats, water, towel, sunscreen, etc. You can check the camp’s website, too, as it typically outlines everything you should bring.
- Stay positive. College coaches look for recruits who are “coachable.” They evaluate your body language and attitude on the field. So, when you have a bad play, stay positive. It shows coaches you’re mentally tough.
- Check out campus. Stick around after camp and visit the university to get a feel for the campus’s environment. If there’s another college nearby, make the most of your day and check out that one, too. Seeing a college campus in person can help you better understand if it’s the right fit for you.
The strategizing doesn’t end once camp is over. Follow up with coaches and thank them for the opportunity. You can also ask them for feedback. Then, whenever you have noteworthy updates to share, such as new video, grades or accomplishments, email them about your progress. Building relationships with college coaches is essential to staying on their radar and getting an offer.
Read more: How to make the most of college camps