High School Sports

Ole Miss, LSU, others head to Gulf Coast for satellite camp

South Mississippi is getting into the satellite camp game.

Michigan's Jim Harbaugh fought the good fight and now that the NCAA has rescinded its ban, SEC programs are all-in on camping on the Coast.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is taking advantage of the newly legal camps with its own "elite" camp.

Four SEC programs will be among the 11 Division I programs in Perkinston on June 3.

Joining the Gulf Coast Bulldogs will be Ole Miss, Auburn, Missouri and LSU. Coaches from Central Arkansas, Middle Tennessee, UAB, Troy, South Alabama, South Florida and Louisiana-Lafayette will also be on hand.

"Colleges were looking to explore opportunities to get into areas that might allow them to see kids that they might not get onto campus, which is what these camps are for," Gulf Coast coach Chad Huff told the Sun Herald on Thursday. "I was contacted by a few of (the schools) and, with the facilities that we have, was looking forward to facilitating the camp. It's going to be a great opportunity."

The location makes a lot of sense. South Mississippi annually produces a handful of Division I recruits and the 2017 signing class may be a bumper crop as 15 rising seniors from the Coast already hold offers from four-year schools. Add in easy access from throughout the state, as well as recruiting hotbeds like Mobile and New Orleans, and Gulf Coast's campus is a logical location from a recruiting standpoint.

"A lot of athletes come out of this area, move on and become really, really successful," Huff said. "It says a lot about the high school coaches and the schools and everybody involved."

Huff sees the camp as mutually beneficial. Yes, colleges from all over will get a good look at athletes they may have missed otherwise. It's also a chance for high school football players to learn new skills and techniques that may help them get to the next level.

"It's not just about fundamentals, but teaching kids how to work and compete," Huff said. "Coaches, at the same time, get a lot out of the camps because it's a full day of football."

The lifted ban on satellite camps sent most Division 1 programs scrambling. Missouri, for example, will be in Perkinston and is also looking at camps in Texas, Florida, Georgia and elsewhere.

"It will be a busy summer," Missouri coach Barry Odom said on Wednesday's SEC East teleconference.

"Literally I get a text every five minutes about another one," new Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "It's tough."

Gulf Coast's camp, for high school athletes, is one of only two satellite camps currently announced in Mississippi. The other is a joint effort at Pearl High between Michigan, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Interested athletes can register for the camp at mgcccbulldogs.com/elitecamp or call Huff at 601-928-6302. Registration opens at 1 p.m. June 3. The cost is $40 per camper.