Florida State holds Mega Camp for high school football prospects

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 1:32 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - About 2,500 student athletes competed at FSU’s Mega Camp over the weekend to show their talents to the more than 50 universities in attendance.

Sunday proved to be a day of opportunity for coaches and players alike as FSU’s Mega Camp allowed them to interact in person for the first time in over a year.

“Because it’s a different perspective from seeing you online and then seeing you in real life and then watching you do the drills, watching you do one on ones, watching you do certain things,” said Merchant Development Academy Prep’s King David Washington.

Washington, originally from New York, moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for a chance to extend his high school career at a new prep school called Merchant Development Academy Prep after the pandemic hurt his ability to get seen by coaches.

“It was hard because everything is online and then you have to think about it. I’m just one person, just sending you one message,” said Washington. “There’s probably thousands and thousands and thousands of other kids texting at that same time.”

This camp created opportunities for kids like Washington to not only show off their skills but their character, which is something coaches look at closely.

“When you’re looking at camps like this, is the guy giving you extra effort. Is he hustling to the next drill at the front of the pack,” says Valdosta State University Head Coach Gary Goff. “Is he not being intimidated and staying at the back of the line but jumping up to the front to get extra reps.”

“A couple young men in particular, their effort stood out to me,” explained FSU Head Football Coach Mike Norvell. “Yes they might have the size, speed and athleticism but when you get a sense of their want to and what is their passion to play this game, what is their passion to be able to separate themselves with what they’re willing to give and invest.”

The event opened doors that were closed for last year’s class.

“The great thing for networking purposes I think is outstanding because you’re going to meet coaches from all over the country that you you could not have gone to twenty different locations to do this,” said Merchant Development Academy Prep Head Football Coach Andrew Stewart.

“Man this is all about the student athletes. I mean these young men now are getting in front of coaches and having an opportunity that last years class didn’t have and was very very difficult,” shared coach Goff. My heart goes out to a lot of those young men who are still looking for homes.”

Coach Mike Norvell said he hopes camps like Sunday’s can push players and coaches alike build back towards normalcy.

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