I got a prestigious invite to an All American Football Recruiting Camp but the price tag is costly. What should I do?

How questionable character can ruin the college opportunities of an athletic recruitAfter writing recently about how I continue to hate football recruiting combines that charge money, a parent left an interest comment in regards to his son.  The parent was hoping to find out more information about a prestigious combine that really does bring in some of the best football recruits across the country.  Here is what he said:

My son has received an invitation to the US Army All-American Combine. Is this also a combine that we should ignore? It does cost a lot of money and the travel expenses. What do you think?

First off, in emailing with this father what I found out that they will need to spend at least $500 for this event.  I am not sure if that includes all of the travel, meals, and lodging but there will be at least $500 spent by their family one way or another if they decide to send their son to this camp.  I am still trying to get more details on the situation but the bill will likely be at least $500 and could easily go over $1,000.

In following these events over the years, I am very aware of the fact that the best of the best normally show up.  The dad told me that the invite is sent to only 500 athletes so they are doing what they can to bring in top notch competition from all around the country.  It could be a good way for his son to test his skills against the best prep football players in the country.

The problem I have with these camps is that these invites are not as elite as you would think they are.  Over the last five years, I saw a running back from a high school who didn’t start as a junior and rarely played that season get invited and go.  Do you really think they were scouring the nation looking for prospects and saw someone who rarely played and thought about ways to get them down to Texas for this combine?

No, like 100% of the combines that charge money, the thing that matters most is if your check or credit card clears.  Yes, they want elite players because like everything else, having the best athletes and best competition with draw other top athletes.  That cycle will continue again and again.  But all 500 of the athletes they bring in don’t have to be Division I.  If they can get 300 kids who end up Division I and 200 with enough money in their parents’ bank account to attend, then that works perfectly fine for them.  Cha-ching.

This type of situations happens not only with the US Army All American Combine but with prestigious invites to Football University.  Yes, this camp is great because they do have a lot of good coaches and teachers there.  But Football University has a huge price tag that only a certain amount of people can pay for.  That is why last year they invited a player who threw more interceptions than touchdowns while his team didn’t win a game.  That sounds like one of the top prep players in the country to me for sure.

And although all these stories are great, the main reason I advise against football recruiting combines with a price tag of anything is because NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from being in attendance.  Earlier this decade when college coaches could attend, they would offer after seeing a player excel on the field.  But with that not possible, save your money and use it for college camps and a good highlight video.

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