High School Sports

Louisiana-Lafayette football coaches hold satellite camp at Hugh Pepper Field

Pascagoula running back Javarious Walker participates in a drill at Ocean Springs stadium Wednesday. Walker, who missed last year with a knee injury, was participating in a Louisiana-Lafayette football camp.
Pascagoula running back Javarious Walker participates in a drill at Ocean Springs stadium Wednesday. Walker, who missed last year with a knee injury, was participating in a Louisiana-Lafayette football camp.

OCEAN SPRINGS -- Over 125 high school football players descended on Hugh Pepper Field to learn from Louisiana-Lafayette coaches and be seen by college coaches.

Ragin' Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth said the camps were a chance for his staff to look at players. Ocean Springs, he felt, was in a good central location with players from the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana coming to the camp.

"We are trying to give the players a chance to showcase their talents," Hudspeth said. "But, we are also trying to give back to football by working with the players to help them improve."

Hudspeth and his staff identifies four or five potential players from each camp, making the camps an important recruiting tool for Lafayette-Louisiana.

"We are here to identify anyone who can help us," he said.

Gulfport receiver Bryson Brewer's 2015 campaign was cut short last year after he suffered an early season knee injury, limiting him to just one catch for 80 yards and a touchdown. The senior, who runs a 4.53 40, said camps like the Ragin' Cajuns camp was a good way to get his talents in front college coaches.

"I'm just trying to get better and get a scholarship," said Brewer. "I'm trying to hit as many as I can."

Senior Pascagoula running back Javarious Walker saw, Wednesday's camp as a chance to try out a surgically repaired knee. After running for 400 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, Walker missed last year with a knee injury.

"I want to see where I am at physically," Walker said. "It's my first chance to see where I am health-wise, to gauge where my knee is at."

Gautier coach Chris Peterson saw the camps as a good chance for players to earn a scholarship and get coached by college coaches.

"It's good for them to hear (what we tell them in practice) from someone else," Peterson said. "It validates what we teach them."

Peterson noted other college and junior college coaches were watching players go through the drills.

"This gives high school players a lot of exposure," Peterson said. "They get to perform in front of a college staff."

Hudspeth feels satellite camps are primarily for recruiting purposes, unlike Alabama and Michigan only hold camps where four- or five-star athletes play.

"That's the only reason they are doing the camps," Hudspeth said.

Hudspeth, who noted the Ragin' Cajuns have been holding satellite camps for the last five years, believes the camps are a mixed bag. ULL freshmen usually arrive on campus for the summer, but his coaching staff attend several camps.

"Everybody is doing satellite camps," he said. "In some places, there are too many camps."

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