NORFOLK, Va. - This month, some of the most high-profile college football programs will descend upon Hampton Roads to recruit potential players for their programs. Not only is Old Dominion welcoming the teams to town, the Monarchs are facilitating the visits.
"There's competition on the field, when we're playing games in the fall - and then there's recruiting," explained ODU head football coach Bobby Wilder. "These are two entirely different things that we're doing."
Several power five programs, including Maryland, Michigan, Penn State and North Carolina, will attend four college exposure camps for high school players hosted by Old Dominion in June.
"If we held a camp all by ourselves, maybe 50 players would show up," Wilder noted. "If we hold a camp with Maryland and Michigan, here come 300 to 400."
The four exposure camps will be held in a 13 day span, beginning June 4th with coaches from Maryland and Michigan, along with New Hampshire, UVA-Wise, Chowan, Fairmont State and 30 to 40 additional Division I FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA programs.
"Not all 300 to 400 that are going to be here are going to play at Old Dominion or Maryland or Michigan," Wilder said. "But there's going to be a school here for every player. Everybody gets exposed."
Coming to ODU's campus June 11th for the Monarch's third of four college exposure camps? The entire coaching staff from North Carolina. ODU hosts UNC September 16th - week three of the 2017 regular season.
"I can see why people would think this is unusual, but Coach [Larry] Fedora and I have a professional relationship," Wilder explained. "I'm not the type of head coach that concerns myself with that. This is about recruiting and about opportunities for players. It has nothing to do with the game we're playing in September. He invited us to work any of their camps. It was reciprocal. I have a lot of respect for him."