Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford understands why satellite camps held in SEC territory with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer have created so much chatter , but he also recognizes the opportunity such an event presents.
On Thursday, Wofford officially announced a June 16 camp that will feature Meyer and other Ohio State coaches working with Gwinnett County players.
“It’s a good thing for Gwinnett County and a chance to show this is a place that’s kind of different and kind of special,” Wofford said. “I think it’s a good opportunity for the kids and it creates excitement when you got people from up north coming down south. It creates a buzz for a lot of these kids who can’t get up to campuses up there. It gives them a chance to get in front of those colleges.”
Harbaugh has caused a stir among SEC coaches since he started traveling to satellite camps throughout the southeast last offseason. Over spring break, he brought his Michigan team to train at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and last week he was announced as a featured guest coach at a June camp in Ellenwood, Ga. Cedar Grove coach Jimmy Smith explained that the opportunity for players outweighed the negatives of hosting a Big Ten coach.
Now it appears Meyer is prepared to increase his exposure in SEC territory.
Wofford said he will reach out to the coaching staffs at Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State to invite them to work with kids from every Gwinnett County school. But the decision to invite a Big Ten coaching staff to work with recruits, including several UGA targets, also raises eyebrows and concerns.
“I actually talked to [UGA] coach [Kirby] Smart because we have a long relationship too, and I totally understand his side and their side of it,” Wofford said. “But I think, for the most part, he understands my side of it. … It’s a deal where I have to look out for my kids and my school, just like they do for theirs. I understand their side and I think they understand our side.
“If they didn’t come to Central [Gwinnett], they were going to go somewhere else and then what? I wasted a chance to actually host, so I have to take advantage of it.”
Gwinnett County is a hotbed for national recruiting talent. Wofford said his relationship with Meyer started during Ohio State’s recruitment of Class of 2013 linebacker Trey Johnson. Meyer’s daughter, Nicki Meyer, was a volleyball player at Georgia Tech and Wofford said the coach would often stop by Gwinnett Central when he was in town to watch his daughter’s games.
With more than 100 Gwinnett County players receiving scholarships a year ago, Wofford isn’t worried that the satellite camp with Meyer will cause strained relationships with SEC coaches.
“There will always be players in Gwinnett County, and it’s one of the top counties in the country,” Wofford said. “I don’t think anyone can kind of shun Gwinnett County as a place to recruit because whether they go to Georgia, Georgia Tech or Florida State, they’re going to go somewhere because of the caliber of players we have.”