SEC Country offers an encapsulated look at which SEC-affiliated states stand to benefit the most from the NCAA’s recent reversal of the satellite camp ban.
By contrast, we’ll also break down which states might be hindered by the NCAA ruling. That’s relatively speaking, of course, since this new movement likely won’t make or break college football’s most powerful conference.
One more thing: For the record, I am absolutely fine with the NCAA’s lifting of the initial ban. However, the organization needs to get ahead of this situation, by adopting certain rules and regulations for out-of-state satellite camps, in terms of limiting the number of camps per school and availing the same time window for everything to happen (in fairness to recruits).
Anything short of that … might lead to anarchy. In essence, the NCAA must help these coaches and programs help themselves.
STATES: Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri
CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION
1. Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops should be deliriously happy with this decision. Kentucky now has great access to strong recruiting bases in Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — without driving more than five or six hours.
2. The same holds true for the Arkansas and Mississippi territories.
Schools like Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas suddenly have the power to flex their SEC muscles at out-of-region camps … without worrying about other Power 5 programs invading state lines with separate camps.
It’s a win-win proposition.
3. Missouri enjoys three-tiered access to prospective homegrown recruits for the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12. Enough said.
STATES: Georgia, Tennessee
REASONS TO BE HAPPY
1. The impending satellite-camp joint venture of UGA and Michigan — just weeks after head coaches Kirby Smart and Jim Harbaugh chided one another on social media — is a testament to the organizational acumen of Georgia’s high school programs (and coaches).
In other words, the state of Georgia might be a terrific talent hotbed for out-of-state schools … but UGA and Georgia Tech still stand to get a piece of the action at every turn (friends in high places).
2. Much like the Kentucky Wildcats, the Tennessee coaches should embrace the NCAA’s ruling reversal.
The Volunteers are now flush with options, in terms of establishing strategies for occupying talent-rich states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida and Texas.
STATES: Louisiana, South Carolina
REASONS FOR A WAIT-AND-SEE APPROACH
1. Louisiana remains one of the great underrated hotbeds of prep talent, given its proximity to Texas and the southern protection of the Gulf of Mexico.
In the latter respect, LSU should be leery of other Power 5 programs invading its space during the summer, via satellite camps.
2. On the flip side, during the Les Miles era (2005-present), LSU has enjoyed a superb track record of constructing a proverbial fence around state lines and seldom letting blue-chip recruits escape the fertile area.
3. The Palmetto State could be vulnerable for two reasons:
a) Clemson and South Carolina have stealthily raised the bar of annual expectations over the last decade.
b) Some opposing head coaches would love to mix satellite camps with de facto vacations. Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach are especially nice this time of year.
STATES: Alabama, Florida, Texas
CAUSE FOR CONCERN
1. On average, Florida and Texas are the most fertile recruiting territories west of the Rockies. So, it would behoove Power 5 programs from all over to bring a little piece of their respective campuses to the South.
2. Citing 247Sports.com (along with other Web sites), Alabama has landed the nation’s top recruiting class for six consecutive years. It’s a testament to the Crimson Tide’s remarkable tradition (16 claimed national championships) … and the indomitable salesmanship/leadership of head coach Nick Saban (five national titles since 2003).
As such, the other big-time schools should feel obligated to hit the state of Alabama hard, preferably within a 60-mile radius of Tuscaloosa and/or Birmingham.
3. Outside programs must create a carnival aspect to the satellite camps in Florida, Texas and Alabama. Constant media attention is imperative for these events, especially early in the mix.
Why’s that? Simple. Like all fads in the sporting realm … the media will grow tired and weary of satellite camps, sooner than later.
Jay Clemons, the 2015 national winner for “Sports Blog Of The Year” (Cynopsis Media), has previously written for SI.com, The National Football Post, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports.