Figured some people might now know the difference between the two "camps". Pun intended.
Threw in the GT visit to bring it all together.
Grab some popcorn, it's a long post....
My son did quite a few camps at schools he was considering in the last 2 years.
1 day, 2 days, a few days and Vandy's 5 day camp. Thought I'd give you a review. We'll go in order..
Vandy HS Prospect Camp. Tim Corbin is one of my favorite humans! The man is brilliant and very active and very much about manners, baseball, team, etc. The camp was a sleep away camp. My son stayed in the dorms to get a slice of what that was like. The camp was incredibly and meticulously run, crazy active, guys running from station to station, staying busy and lots of scrimmages. Corbin was on hand for all the scrimmages, mic'd up and talking to the players throughout the day 8am-9-10pm. My son was exhausted but really liked the camp. Lots of good talent there and wasn't the "cattle call" of some of the others. Great camp, he got to see a lot of campus, live onsite, eat in the cafeteria, etc. Not that expensive for 5 days over night with food. My son has Celiac so food allergies were an issue. They mostly accommodated that. We loved loved loved Nashville. Even though he isn't going there, we might move there after my freshman graduates.
Double dipped on a flight to Raleigh to go to Duke and UNC camps. Duke was interested as my son gets good grades and our travel ball owner has good connections there. They both had seen him in WWBA, so we weren't flying blind. Son was interested in both and never been on campus. We skipped "yet another" local travel team tourney in Houston (We live in Austin) to mix it up and get in front of coaches and get him on campus. I lived in Durham for 3 years when I worked at Duke University Medical Center after Graduate School. Durham has definitely gone downhill since 2001, when I left. Drove to Duke to show him campus, chapel, etc and on our way to Chapel Hill. HE LOVED CHAPEL HILL! OMG such a gorgeous campus, great facility, cute town. He was blown away. (I wanted to go to Chapel Hill for Undergrad and Medical school and didn't get in either). UNC Camp was a prospect camp, very few kids there. Not a sleepover camp. 4 teams worth, which was nice. Lots of coaches on hand, mostly just scrimmaged 3 games (in 2 days) after warm ups and 60s. They accommodated his GF very well. Had a great hour plus session with Coach Forbes and the parents. Great guy. Very informative. Loved the insight he shared. My son loved camp and UNC instantly became his #1 (over Texas and Vandy). UNC baseball stays in the dorm directly next to the field. Nice! The camp evaluation was practically a napkin and not impressive. But he still liked it and getting on campus and meeting the staff and some players was key.
On to Duke Elite Camp, aka "Cattle Call". (all ages camp, augh!) What a waste. We kind of expected it, but it was a chance for us to get in 2 camps back to back. It was horrible. There are High School fields in Texas better than Duke's mid-week field. No locker rooms but decent turf and pretty in the trees, but I wasn't expecting a dinky park for Duke. Campus was OK, he wasn't too impressed. The camp was very much focused and attention spent on the YOUNG and younger kids. Which was disappointing. He hated Durham, run down, dirty, just all over gross. He said he wouldn't go there unless that was the ONLY place he could play baseball. We did, however, get a pitching video evaluation with Dusty Blake, their pitching coach, so that was the best and only benefit out of going to the camp. Dusty liked him and his arm angle, etc. They were very interested, but played footsie via email, which was just weird. No players at this camp. Just staff.
WWBAs happened. Ft Meyers Underclass my son did great and broke 90 on PG radar and calls started coming in. Stanford was on him and chatting up our Travel Coach and High School Coach. They ghosted him for the longest time and reached out at Ft Meyers for their last pitching slot. Then Jupiter! Thank you baby Jesus!! Son pitched a perfect game (playing up) with 11 Ks in front of a TON of scouts and coaches. 5-3 Error for the final out turned it into a No hitter, but he still pitched "Perfect". He hit 91 or 92 depending on which scout or coach you ask. Skies opened up. Clemson was tweeting him in the dugout, they'd been ghosting him all summer.
Arkansas texted/called and invited him to Prospect Camp. Georgia Tech texted/called and invited him to Prospect Camp. What do you do? #3 team calls, you go, even just for the exposure as the academics are bad. GT's camp was on Sunday, Ark on Saturday. We were going try to make both work, but flights out of Fayetville to ATL weren't cooperative. Arkansas won. We went there. I was initially not a big fan, but let me tell you. That place is gorgeous. By far the best baseball facilities and Park we saw. Amazing. Prospect camp. All really good kids. maybe 30 or so. It was cold and raining so some people couldn't make it in, flights were canceled, etc. We had to use their indoor facility, which was practically an indoor field. WOW. They share with the Track team and indoor track and training facility, and the worst weight room I've ever seen (only negative). We saw Van Horn giving tours to people in line during check in. My son did well, but wasn't throwing 92. He pitched 1 or 2 innings and that was it. 55,000 sq ft academic and food center for athletes only was amaze balls! Gorgeous campus and Baum is da Bomb....Crickets..... GT kept texting my son......
Virginia was on him 9/1 via email and responsive. He wanted to get on campus, so we already planned to go to UVAs prospect camp in November and planned on it before WWBAs. To rule it out or in (very comparable academically or better than UNC). So GT is still trying to get my son to come on campus and asked us to fly in Sun (from UVA and then tour their campus and facilities and spend the day with their coaches). After UVA camp. GT was onsite in Jupiter to witness the entire Perfect Game pitching (with their high speed camera and toys) and didn't need to see him throw. What a great idea and use of our ticket, so we changed flights on Sunday to fly to ATL to meet their new PC for dinner on campus. We go to UVA and it's gorgeous. Charlottesville was really cute. Trees were still a little bit in fall colors, GORGEOUS. Campus "Grounds" was HUGE and amazing. I was in awe. This is UVA. He didn't get the historical significance but the 1.5 hr grounds tour, as part of camp was really really cool. UVA pitching coach invited my son to come early Friday and tour facilities and meet the coaches. That was really awesome. We meet up with O'Connor and he toured us around their facility and park. Great guy, loved it. Had a great open and honest conversation. Great information and insight shared. They were very deep into recruiting and running out of money and only 1 slot left for an arm. Between C and another kid coming in later that week. Got to meet some of the guys, watch a practice and hang with the coaches. Very cool. Prospect camp was good. LOTS of kids, but mostly just game after game after game. They accommodated his GF without an issue. He said he'd commit there. Their campus is amazing the sports stuff is very close together and cool atmosphere. Freshman dorms are about a mile from the field. Yikes. The campus is very accommodating of food allergies and the team manager is GF and said he's had no issues in 3 years on campus and in dining halls. Campus tour was part of the camp and stunning and informative. The sorority formal on grounds helped lift spirits of the prospects. UVA was a top school and top choice, the "little to no money" was painful to hear as an out of state student, after a 25% offer, that would still be over $130K in loans......cough, cough...
Well there is a happy ending. GT didn't have a camp but the visit couldn't have gone better. We left UVA camp and flew to ATL. Met the PC for dinner and it was great. He answered a ton of questions we had and talked to Christian about their program, his philosophy and what he thought. It was great. Very chill, real and heartfelt. It was exactly what my son needed. My son loved the bigger city of ATL and what it had to offer with the back drop, better dining choices, and the campus was way more "campus-y" than we were expecting. Their campus is amazing. Sweet olympic village (player dorms) and Olympic Pool in Student Athletic Center. The whole staff spent 6 hours with him touring, taking, shooting hoops in the basketball stadium. They loved on him and it showed. We noticed and it was awesome. Pro guys in the weight room. Players came up to meet us and say Hi to the coaches. It was really nice. Got to meet the Head Basketball coach. By far the best visit. We had questions, they had answers and were very open, honest and transparent. We both loved that. They gave a no pressure/no time limit offer and we left in absolute awe. He REALLY LOVED IT and THEM. Not the newest or nicest facilities (YET! the new pitching lab is going to be SICK!). Not the biggest stadium, but the best fit for my son. The New PC is amazing and wonderful and one of the biggest draws for us. Christian really liked all the coaches. GT immediately trumped UNC and UVA. He committed to GT a 4 days later (he was waiting to see/hear what UVA had to say). He knows GT is on an evolution and was psyched to be on the early side of the snowball! They're already getting quality talent from out of state in my son's 2021 and following classes. He said Dad I think they have a really good shot to go to Omaha. :-)
Proud papa! We're finally all geared up with school stuff and I can stop buying other school sweatshirts and t-shirts. We've got GT logos on cars and GT banners hanging in the garage where the weights and rack is. We're all in and couldn't be happier!!