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Golden on the importance of youth camps

Al Golden talked with reporters earlier today about the upcoming spring game on Saturday, as well as how youth and high school camps play a huge role for them in recruiting.

During his time at Temple, Golden says that 80% of their signees attended their camps, and at Miami last season 60% of their signees attended the Hurricanes' camp. Golden explains that he doesn't think you can offer someone based solely off of their camp performance but instead used the the recruits evaluation in camp in combination with checking the students transcripts and character to really get the big picture. He compares it to the evaluation process of the NFL saying, "It's like they say at the combine, it's the last piece of the puzzle". The difference for them is that it can also be the first piece that really sparks an interest and gets the ball rolling.

After talking about the importance of keeping camp costs low to make it affordable for the inner city youth and how he and his staff are sure to coach the campers up just like they coach their scholarship athletes, Golden said something that really perked our attention.

According to Golden, they had 270 campers in 2010. That number exploded to over 1600 in last years camp, in part due to a one day option that the staff provided. Regardless of how, that's an impressive attendance increase.

Golden says that he expects the spring game on Saturday to be about 100 plays long, and laughed saying he understands the television producers in attendance are going to be pushing for the 2 hour mark regardless of the number of plays run.

Under Armour testing gear at Maryland

Under Armour has taken some gear down the road to spring practices at College Park to test out some new gear including cleats and a "no-grab" jersey.

Walker Jones of Under Armour explains that being just down the road from the Terps campus allows them to bring their latest and greatest gear to practice to see how it holds up in the real life lab.

This week they were testing out jerseys (we know what your thinking), cleats, and arm sleeves and, as with all their products that they test, Jones explained that they wanted to see how durable they were, how it fits, and if it provides a competitive advantage. There's no better place to do that than the field.

Good insight Under Armour's testing and development side of things below.

Davie: "It doesn't matter if we play in quicksand"

Right after the New Mexico players stretched yesterday, Bob Davie kicked off practice with a scrimmage. Next time, he says they may not even stretch.

Davie wanted to stress the tempo of practice and hammer home the message that when they put their helmet on, it's time to go.

"If you come out here and you don't have the tempo, you have to manage the environment, and the only way I know to get the tempo better is to say it's full speed". Davie went on to explain that if they let the players just "ooze" around the practice field, they'll do just that.

Davie believes that games are won and lost up front, so the linemen on both sides of the ball get treated very well. They put in extra work in the weight room, sit at the front of the travel bus, and also have assigned seats in the front row of the meeting room.

At the end of the clip one reporter asks about the advantages that they have with a turf playing surface when all but two teams in the conference play on grass. Davie responded by saying "We're just trying to make a first down, right now it doesn't matter if we play in quicksand, or if we play on concrete."

Raising money for a new turf field

Lycoming College, a D-III school located in the small city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has a rich football tradition, and is looking to add to that with the addition of a new turf field this season. The College has undertaken the huge fundraising task and has seen some great support in the past few months.

The goal for the project, which began in January, was to raise $1.1 million, with 80% of that total needing to be pledged four months later, in April in order to get the field in place before this season. Many people in the campus community didn't think raising that amount of money in such a short window was possible. Thanks to the competitive nature of the coaching staff, campus community, and surrounding Williamsport community the program has secured $725,000 in pledges as of yesterday and need only $100,000 more to move forward with the project.

Two people in particular have been instrumental in the fundraising efforts. Defensive coordinator Steve Wiser, and former head coach Frank Girardi have been around the program for a very long time and have been vital in the ability to raise funds. Wiser has been a member of the Lycoming program as both a player and a coach for 42 years, and Girardi served as the head coach from 1972 to 2007, so the two of them know most everyone in town, and each also has an undying loyalty to the program. Combine that with the fact that Wiser has been described by many as a fierce competitor, and you get a few guys that are tough to say "No" to.

The staff is confident that they will be able to come up with the remaining funds by the end of the month to secure the new turf field this season.

The video below does a great job highlighting the tradition of the program and the passion that the coaches and community have for this project. Turf fields have helped numerous programs take things to the next level, and is a huge recruiting tool, and the people at Lycoming understand that. 

We're hoping they reach their goal.

Inside the film room at A&M

Secondary coach / co-defensive coordinator Marcel Yates allowed 12thManTV inside of the film room to update everyone on their progress since his arrival and walk them through some of their drills and the reason behind them.

In the clip, Yates stresses the importance of being on the same page as a staff starting in the office and stretching to the meeting rooms and film room and onto the practice field. The most encouraging part of the secondary to Yates is the fact that they want to work hard combined with the fact that they are very athletic, so he has put a lot of ownership on himself to get them to where they need to be as productive players.

The next head coach at Arkansas?

This morning and this afternoon, two independent sources have told us that Arkansas AD Jeff Long has already spoken with current UAB head coach, and former Arkansas offensive coordinator, Garrick McGee about taking over as head coach at Arkansas. 

Both sources told us that Long and McGee discussed keeping the existing staff intact.  

The two sources we spoke with both felt that McGee would have no problem retaining Paul Petrino as offensive coordinator and both felt that Paul would stay.

McGee has his UAB team in Spring ball right now (Spring game is on the 21st). Given this timing, we expect nothing to be said publicly until UAB completes Spring ball; but both sources felt that McGee would be announced as the new head coach shortly thereafter. 

Clearly this is a fluid situation; but that's what we've been told by two sources. 

11PM Update> Late tonight Jeff Long took to twitter to say, "At this time I have not spoken to anyone about the Head Coaching position." Earlier this afternoon, UAB AD Brian Mackin said that he has not been contacted by anyone from the University of Arkansas seeking permission to talk to McGee about the opening. Mackin said he wouldn't comment further. Tonight, after practice, McGee declined to speak with reporters at all and the sports information staff said that he would not speak with reporters until Saturday after their scrimmage. 

As ESPN staff noted, although Long said he personally hasn't spoken with anyone, "that doesn't mean someone close to him hasn't."

As we pointed out above, we're simply passing along information from multiple sources that we believe are credible (based on our historical interactions with these individuals). 

In depth look inside Rutgers Football

The University of Rutgers football program has partnered up with Mind Over Media production company to bring fans an hour long documentary inside the 15 spring ball practices under new head coach Kyle Flood.

Director Michael Messner said that the documentary will follow Flood from the time he wakes up on day one of spring ball through its conclusion, mic'ing up players and coaches along the way.

Messner explains that this documentary will be unique. "We are going to be able to truly give football fans a view of college football that has rarely been seen. Conceptually, we are going to try to tell the story without narration, literally putting the viewer next to the players and coaches as a colleague.”

The film, entitled "RFootball: 15 Days of Spring", will air locally in May as well as on Rutgers athletic websites video feed. Below is its intro.

Michigan to use #GoBlue Saturday

We saw earlier today that Michigan plans to use the hash tag #GoBlue on the 25 yard line for their spring game.

This is the second time that a twitter hash tag has been used on the playing field. You may remember Mississippi State's #HailState hash tag for the Egg Bowl last season (pictured below).

Jordan Maleh, Michigan's director of digital marketing explained the decision. “Our goal is to challenge the status quo and to create innovative ideas that speak to our fans. This initiative will help our athletic department use technology as a competitive advantage to engage and connect to fans, build brand loyalty, grow the digital audience and monitor and listen to what is being said through the digital engagement cycle.”

Twitter is blowing up!  If you and your team aren't on twitter yet, now is the time to figure it out.