Last week, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was on Head to Head radio show and was asked his thoughts on Michigan’s “Summer Swarm” tour and the Bulldogs’ coach was not shy in sharing his views.
“The satellite camps, they’re recruiting camps,” Mullen said. “Basically it’s a recruiting thing and a recruiting fair that they’re doing. I’d imagine Jim Harbaugh, if he’s going to have a camp, would want to coach the kids in Michigan — the young kids in Michigan — maybe how to be better football players.”
Like many coaches in SEC territory, Mullen condemned the practice of satellite camps. Unlike many coaches in SEC territory, Mullen used this as an opportunity to simultaneously take an apparent dig at the Great Lakes’ football talent.
At face value, Mullen has a point. Michigan has experienced success on the recruiting trail as of late, and some of that can be attributed to the Wolverines’ presence across the country.
Still, Mullen suggests that Mississippi State camps are strictly geared towards football prospects in need of technical training and in no way, shape or form are a product of the Bulldogs’ recruiting board.
“We’ve probably had a thousand kids on campus in camps and there are probably of couple of guys that will be SEC players out of that group,” Mullen said. “There are a lot of guys learning a lot of football and that’s our job as coaches — to promote and help the game and help young people learn and see how to be better football players. Not just to go out and go recruit.”
According to The Dispatch, Mississippi State held its annual Big Dawg camp last year and added a total of eight commits- seven 2015 recruits and one 2016 recruit.
Whether the Bulldogs’ camp is for recruiting or not, Mullen’s comments have made the rounds and they resonated with several football minds up north. Today’s U spoke with the parent of a Michigan recruit on conditions of anonymity to gauge the reaction of Mullen’s statement.
“When I heard the comments, it was very perplexing,” the recruit’s parent said. “Considering the fact that my son was offered I assumed that it had to be a big misunderstanding. Therefore, I wanted to follow up with the Mississippi State coaching staff to let them know that those comments, at face value, were being negatively received.”
As the lead man in this recruitment, Mississippi State assistant coach David Turner shared the Bulldogs’ intentions through these comments and gave assurance that Mullen’s comments had been taken out of context.
“Coach, you are taking a statement dealing with a satellite camp and making it sound like he’s slamming high school football in Michigan,” coach Turner said. “We have camps here and we try to teach campers how to play better. Alabama had camp and they try to teach kids how to play better football! I’m sure Michigan has camps with the same goals in mind! If it offends you, I’m sorry, but that was in reference to satellite camps! Teach kids how to play at home!”
Much like Mullen said in his interview, coach Turner is preaching that Mississippi State football camps are orchestrated to solely enhance football skill level in its attendees.
Attendees that the staff may accept commitment from as evidenced by the fruitful recruiting haul in 2014.
Regardless, this conversation helped to smooth over any misconception that may lie on the table regarding Mullen’s comments regarding satellite camps.
“The coach recruiting my son has always seemed genuine,” the recruit’s parent said. “Because of the rapport, I felt comfortable asking for clarification of the statements made by Mullen. In his reply, their coach basically targeted Harbaugh and his satellite camp theory. I understood their intent and so we went on with the rest of our conversation.”
The SEC may alter its rules if a 50 mile restriction is not placed across each of the Power Five conferences next year.