Players from the Derby Panthers work out with Kansas State University Assistant Coach Joe Bob Clements at the college’s satellite camp in Derby this past week. The camp featured nearly the entire K-State coaching staff and more than 140 high school football players from all over the state.
The summer months are jammed full of football camps, but few give high school players the chance to showcase their talents in front of the coaching staff of one of the top 15 college programs in the country.
Nearly 150 football players from all over the state made their way to Panther Stadium this past Thursday for the Kansas State University Satellite Camp.
It was a one-day opportunity for players to cram in as much fundamental football knowledge as possible.
“It’s great to have college coaches teach your kids technique and fundamentals of the game. For a full day, you get the whole Kansas State staff to come down and coach your kids. It’s more about technique and evaluation,” said Derby head coach Brandon Clark. “It’s also great exposure for some of our kids that have aspirations to play (Division I).”
K-State only hosts two satellite football camps a year. One is in the Wichita area and the other is near Kansas City. This marked the first time Derby has been chosen to host the camp.
Clark’s status as a former K-State football player could have helped Derby land hosting duties for the camp, said Inge Jorgensen, assistant director of football operations at K-State.
The K-State coaching staff picked the camp location. Joe Bob Clements, who’s spent 11 years as an assistant coach at K-State, also played for the Wildcats with Clark.
“I was a little bit older and he was a little bit younger,” said Clements. “He’s a guy that fit into what Kansas State does, and that’s coming in every day, having a commitment and working hard. He definitely fit that mold.”
“It’s nice to see what he’s doing here and the fact that he’s had some success,” Clements said. “Being a college recruiter, you go to a lot of different high school programs across the state and the nation. Brandon is doing as good of a job here as any I’ve seen anywhere else.”
The satellite camp did more than just give players the chance to learn from an experienced college staff. It also gave K-State the chance to mine for college prospects.
“For this camp, you definitely have a mix of college prospects and a mixture of guys that are really good high school players, and then you have guys that just want to come out and work hard for a day and get better,” Clements said. “Absolutely, we come here to coach and to teach, but if we see a good football player we aren’t going to ignore him.”
The camp was equally beneficial for the players, Clark said.
“They are in good hands,” he said. “One thing about Coach (Bill) Snyder’s staff and players are they are all overachievers. He makes you that way. Hopefully that rubs off on the kids a little bit.”
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