Story: Camps vs. Combines

They are NOT the Same

As part of the recent Blue Chip Recruiting Roundup tour, I am fielding lots of questions from players and parents regarding attending Camps and Combines. Many people are currently very confused about the definitions and differences between “combines” and “skill camps” and how those relate to the presence of college coaches. The new NCAA rules interpretations have made these two events “different animals”, but still there is a lot of confusion on the part of the high school community.
COMBINES involve “testing”. Players run the 40, vertical jump, run the Shuttle, bench press and in some cases other events where their performances can be evaluated. At the Nike Combines, those numbers are combine to obtain a SPARQ rating. As per the new NCAA rules, college coaches are prohibited from attending combines. In addition, no longer can “combines” be held on college campuses.
SKILLS CAMPS involve football skills. Players perform football related skills relative to their chosen position. Players can still be measured (ht/wt) at camps, but no “testing” may occur. If those camps are held within the Spring Evaluation window (April 15-May 31), college coaches may attend and watch players workout (except Sundays). Those camps can be held on college campuses.
College coaches want prospects to attend combines, so that they can get an independent evaluation on their speed, size, etc, because they themselves can’t attend. College coaches also want prospects to attend camps in the spring evaluaton window, so they can personally observe them
A year ago, the two events could be combined. No longer.