MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With two June camps completed and two more slated for late July, West Virginia’s 7-on-7 tournament Thursday and Friday marks the midpoint of summer recruiting.
This has evolved into the season where players typically make or break their reputations, even exceeding how they perform during games in the fall. Likewise, summer camps have become the crucial period where college programs assemble their recruiting classes.
With West Virginia in the heat of its summer rush, Ryan Dorchester, director of player personnel, appeared on MetroNews “Sportsline” to chat about recruiting.
“It’s really your only opportunity to get these kids on campus and work them out before you’re getting ready to sign them,” he said. “To be able to work with these guys and make your own on-site evaluations with your own coaching staff, it’s incredibly valuable.”
Then again, those up-close evaluations don’t tell the accurate story. Even some elite prospects arrive drained and sluggish after making rounds on the extended camp circuit.
“Some kids they hit seven, eight or nine schools in a two-week span,” Dorchester said. “You can get them and they’ve been to five camps in six days and they’re kind of cooked.
“Everybody needs a break after a while and they don’t have any gas left in the tank. You’re trying to figure out if this kid’s really a good enough player or if he’s just tired and you got him at a bad time.”
When running back Wendell Smallwood camped at WVU in the summer of 2012, he was on the back end of a long tour, Dorchester said.
“You could see he was pretty talented, but I think he only worked out for maybe 30 minutes or so before he was wore out.”
Many instate schools will be participating in Thursday and Friday’s 7-on-7 tournament in Morgantown.
Watch Dorchester’s complete “Sportsline” interview to hear his take on junior college prospects and which positions the Mountaineers continue emphasizing for 2016.