Tomorrow, June 7th, the West Georgia football staff is hosting an Elite Prospect Showcase. The event is open to any and all 9th-12th graders or JUCO players and it will feature coaches from 13 different FBS programs.
West Georgia, who is hosting the event, ended their football season last year with a 12-2 record and their 2nd straight appearance in the national semi-finals. UWG won a share of the Gulf South Conference last year and they were Super Region 2 Champions. The Wolves fell to the eventual champions, Northwest Missouri State. They finished the season ranked 3rd nationally at the Division II level.
Head Coach Will Hall has done a excellent job getting West Georgia on the map the past two years and this event looks as if it will expedite that process immensely. Coaches from schools all over the country will be attending and will be looking to find kids to add to their rosters.
Division I Programs Attending
University of Georgia
Georgia finished their 2015 campaign with a 10-3 record and it was their long time coaches last year as the man in charge. Richt, who is now at Miami, has already gotten his University in the top 5 for the 2017 recruiting class. UGA now has previous Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who played at Georgia in the 90’s. In Smart’s first year in charge, he managed to have the 7th best recruiting class. He landed 3 five star recruits, 10 four star recruits, and 8 three star recruits.
University of Louisville
Louisville comes into next season with the 38th best recruiting class. They finished last season with an 8-5 record, winning 6 of their last 7 games. UL had arguably their best game of the year against Clemson on September 17th in a 20-17 losing effort. Louisville had a couple of bad losses on the year but they did manage to defeat Texas A&M in the Music City Bowl, 27-21.
University of Memphis
Memphis had an incredible football season in 2015, finishing with a 9-4 record. The Tigers scored more than 44 points in their first four games, 63 in game 1, while winning their first 8 games. The 6th game in that span was against Ole Miss where they defeated the Rebels 37-24. Ole Miss was #13 at the time. Memphis reached as high as 13th in the country in 2015, their highest ranking in school history. They fell off towards the end, losing 4 of their last 5. However, their QB, Paxton Lynch, was drafted by Denver in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern finished 2015 with a 9-4 record. After getting destroyed by West Virginia in week one, they bounced back by winning 7 of their next 8 games. Georgia Southern went into Athens and almost stole one away from their ‘big brothers’ in red. The game went into OT, but UGA pulled it out 23-17. In the GoDaddy Bowl, Georgia Southern defeated Bowling Green 58-27. Georgia Southern comes into 2016 with the 73rd best recruiting class, a huge accomplishment for only being in their second year in FBS.
Indiana finished 2015 with a 6-7 record. They lost to another team that will be in attendance tomorrow, the Duke Blue Devils, in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in OT. Indiana played some great games last year. They fell only 8 points short of handing Iowa its first loss, 7 points short of handing Ohio State their first loss and lost to Michigan in double OT. Indiana comes into this year with the 55th best recruiting class.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
ULL had a rough outing in 2015, finishing with a 4-8 record. In week 1, they came out strong and lost to Kentucky in a a nail-biter, 40-33. The Ragin’ Cajuns were sitting at 4-4 with 4 games left on the schedule. Unfortunately, they were not able to win two of their last four to become bowl eligible. However, they come into this year adding 6 three star recruits to the roster.
University of Mississippi
Ole Miss is one of two SEC schools that will be at University Stadium tomorrow looking to add to their programs. Ole Miss finished 2015 with a 10-3 record and 48-20 victory in the AllState Sugar Bowl. The Rebels scored 70 in their first two games and defeated Alabama in week 3 for the second straight year. Ole Miss had SEC wins over Alabama, Mississippi State, LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt last year. They come into this year with the 6th best recruiting class overall, the best out of the 13 schools attending tomorrow.
University of Minnesota
Minnesota was able to sneak into post-season play last year. After finishing the regular season with a 5-7 record, the committee took a chance and gave them an appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl, where they defeated Central Michigan 21-14. They started the season off with a strong outing vs TCU, but fell 23-17. The Golden Gophers then had a rough 3-week span late in the year where they started with Michigan, then played Ohio State, then Iowa. They lost all three games, but only by a combined 22 points. The Michigan ad Iowa games were both very close, where they lost by 3 and 5 points respectively. They come into this year with the 48th overall recruiting class.
University of Southern Mississippi
USM finished their regular season with a 9-3 record that landed them in the Conference USA Championship vs Western Kentucky. They lost that game, but still made the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl where they lost to Washington, 44-31. Southern Miss scored at least 56 points in their last three regular season games before coming up short to WKU. They also had an impressive outing vs Nebraska, only losing by 8 points. The Golden Eagles averaged 40 ppg in 2015. They come into the year with the 97th best recruiting class.
Duke finished the year 8-5 with a bowl win vs Indiana. After starting the season 6-1, the Blue Devils looked to be in prime position to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship. Unfortunately, they lost 4 of their final 5 regular season games (all ACC games) and put themselves out of the race. They had strong showings vs Northwestern and Miami, but fell short in both games. They were able to beat Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, though. Duke has the 34th best recruiting class.
University of Southern California
USC finished their year 8-6, but made an appearance in the Pac-12 championship game. They played Stanford early in the year and lost 41-31. That was their only loss in the first 5 weeks of the season. Then, the Trojans had two losses to Washington and Notre Dame. They were able to bounce back though as they won 5 of their last 6 to make the Conference Championship, where they fell to Stanford, 41-22. They then lost to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl, 23-21. USC comes in at number 8 on the recruiting class rankings, right behind Ole Miss and Georgia.
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky had a really good season in 2015, finishing the year 12-2 with a Conference Championship and a Bowl win. They did not lose one conference game in the regular season and beat Southern Miss in the Conference USA Championship. Their only losses on the year were to Indiana (38-25) and to LSU (48-20). The Hilltoppers averaged 46 ppg in 2015. They will add 8 three-star recruits to the roster this year with their 98th ranked recruiting class.
University of Maryland
Maryland struggled big time in 2015, going 3-9 on the year. The Terrapins won two of their first three games which looked to be the start of a good season, but they fell off completely losing eight in a row. They won their final game against Rutgers in a shootout, 46-41. They lost to Wisconsin by only 7 and Penn State by only 1, but were not very close in the other games vs Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State. Their win in the last week of the season will hopefully give the returning guys some momentum heading into this year. They will have the 42nd best recruiting class to build off of.
*Rankings according to 247sports.com
With all the success that these schools had in 2015, I am certain that this camp will be a huge success for the kids and coaches in attendance. The 14 schools, including UWG, had a 114-70 combined record and a number of them made or even won their Conference Championships.
The coaches are requiring that all players attending must bring cleats and tennis shoes. Quarterbacks who will be attending must bring their own footballs. The cost for the camp is $40, and pre-registration is encouraged. You can pre-register by contacting UWG Defensive Line Coach, Josh Aldridge.
Athletes can also register the day of the event. However, according to multiple coaches Twitter accounts, their are already over 600 athletes registered for the camp. So, it would be in your best interest to pre-register by emailing Josh Aldridge. If that is not a possibility, you can show up tomorrow at University Stadium. Registration begins at 1 PM at the Athletic Operations Building. I would advise getting there early.
Good luck to all athletes looking to get noticed by some big time schools. You can head to Bwrightsports.com to see how the camp went with pictures and possibly an interview the day following the event.
Follow me on Twitter at @BrandonWright84 for live updates during the showcase