View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 7/25

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: July 26, 2013 - 10:31 AM

It’s been a great summer and while things will get quiet the next couple of weeks, full football is just around the corner.
When I look back at the summer there are a few things that stand out to me. Some are great while others I question.
On the positive side the way teams across the Metro are finding ways to improve is fantastic. More schools are finding smaller team camps locally that give their players a chance to compete against different schools in a setting that is close to home.
I’m not against the team camps held at college campuses. Those can be valuable for bonding and offer a high level of competition. It just seems to me as every program, parent and player sees their dollars stretched to the limit the opportunity to stay close to home for contact practices works out well.
These local team camps also give fans a chance to check in on their favorite team and see how they are doing. It also allows parents to have their players at home in their own beds and be able to watch some of the team camp without a long drive or taking too much time off work.
The smaller team camps are great because it also allows some new younger talent to rise to the top or some seniors step up and take leadership roles. Those are a lot of positives from a few days working in the summer.
On the negative side is recruiting and verbal commitments of players early in the summer. Don’t get me wrong I think it is great when a player has a chance to play at the next level but the chase for these players is starting to get out of hand.
While it’s not as bad as basketball where kids are being offered in the ninth grade there have been some things that make me question if we have all lost our minds. Offering juniors coming off great seasons has been around for a long time but now things are starting to get crazy. This summer there are a few players in the Metro who have picked up offers from big schools without even spending one minute of their junior season as a starter.
Let that sink in. A player has played some backup minutes and has received a D-I offer based off camp performance and projections. Call me crazy but I might want to see how that player does as a high school starter at some point.
This isn’t baseball or basketball where school team play isn’t as important with club/AAU/summer ball. This is football. There isn’t a summer football league out there to see how a player performs under actual game pressure. Maybe I’m old fashioned in I like to see what a player does on the field.
The other part of this is these are offers, not signed letters of intent. What may be 10 offers heading into a senior year might be one or none coming out. Same goes with the verbal commitment. It isn’t a binding contract so a lot can change between late July and February.
Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to