Well here’s an interesting development: Alabama head coach Nick Saban dropped by USF’s satellite camp at the Frank Morsani Football Practice Complex on Saturday.
Coaches from several schools including Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Bowling Green, and others were listed to be in attendance, as well as Crimson Tide assistants. While it originally wasn’t expected for Saban to be in attendance, 247’s Josh Newberg broke the news right before camp started that the five-time national championship winning head coach was on his way.
I'm told Alabam HC Nick Saban will arrive at USF satellite camp in about an hour. To my knowledge this will be Saban's first satellite camp— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) June 10, 2017
Nick Saban arrives to his first satellite camp pic.twitter.com/fX4GtrprYA— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) June 10, 2017
This is significant because Saban has now (most likely begrudgingly) shifted his attitude towards satellite camps. It was a little over a year ago that the Crimson Tide head coach publicly railed against satellite camps, calling them “bad for college football”:
"This is the wild, wild West at its best. There have been no specific guidelines relative to how we're managing control of this stuff. It's happening outside the normal evaluation window, which means we're taking time away from our players. We have to worry about our players doing the right things with the limited time we have them, but we're not going to do that because we have to be somewhere else to see someone else."
This led to a feud with Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s been the most vocal advocate of satellite camps over the past two offseasons and appeared at USF satellite camps run by Willie Taggart.
So what ultimately caused Saban to change his mind? Gotta keep up with the Joneses, of course...
I'm told Nick Saban showing up at USF and FIU camps today is in response to Urban Meyer appearing at FAU satellite camp— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) June 10, 2017
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is making his rounds in Florida and will appear at USF’s camp alongside Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen on Sunday.
With Saban also heading down to FIU, we can only assume he’s not going to let Meyer waltz into the Sunshine State and sway some of his top targets to Columbus. The Buckeyes finished neck and neck with the Crimson Tide for the top 2017 recruiting class (Alabama got the #1 spot because they had eight more recruits.) Both are already stockpiling loads of blue-chip talent as they compete for the top class of 2018.
USF is essentially a pawn in a greater recruiting war between teams that a lot of people expect to meet in Atlanta for the CFP National Championship Game in January.
And that’s perfectly fine! Any opportunity for Charlie Strong and company to get top in-state prospects on campus is valuable. Hosting a camp featuring quite literally the most accomplished head coaches in the country will do just that.