Going camping

Over the next week, thousands of Division III football players will be reporting for camp. There’s no one single reporting date for training camp in Division III football: it’s based on a formula that takes into account not only the date of the first game (Sept. 6, even for those who start on Thursday, Sept. 4) and the first day of classes.

So if your favorite team starts tomorrow and your opening week opponent starts two days later, you’re not supposed to have a leg up. Each school is supposed to have 21 practice opportunities, accounting for two-a-days when permitted before class starts.

As teams report, our reporters are doing their rounds of telephone calls to coaches in order to get the latest information for Kickoff. But I’m thinking about the freshmen coming into their first collegiate camp.

Certainly many of the hundreds of freshmen who will be putting on pads in the next week or so have some idea of what they are getting into, some knowledge that Division III football is like nothing they’ve ever experienced. Others may have been deluded into thinking that Division III is glorified intramurals, that it’s not serious football, that they can dominate just because they were good in high school.

News flash: Everyone here was good in high school. Pretty much everyone started (unless you were Terrelle Pryor’s backup), most were all-conference, many were all-city/region/district and some were all-state. And some have three years on you. So come in with high expectations, but stay grounded … or someone will ground you the moment you put on pads.

We don’t often get the freshman perspective, but there is an incoming player for Colorado College who is already blogging about “The D3 experience.” Recommend checking out Chris Jarmon’s blog to see what he has to say when he reports for camp on Friday.

10 thoughts on “Going camping

  1. Yeah, Pat, it appears you use “glorified intramurals” nearly as often as Pep uses Alfred’s “Legendary Football Coach Alex Yunevich.”

  2. Pat,
    I still remember my first drive to Mt. Union as a new member of the Purple Raiders. I was ok in HS. I was supposed to be on my way to Youngstown State, but total knee reconstruction my senior season changed my travel plans. On my trip all that I could think about was that starting at a DIII school would be a no brainer. I couldn’t have been more wrong! We had guys who were being recruited out of HS from Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan state, but because of some injury lost their scholarships. Shoot, our QB played one year at the Naval Academy. DIII football is the real deal. Stingers hurt just as bad in DIII as they do in DI. Concussions screw up your brain just as bad for us as them. Most importantly, DIII kids work just as hard as the “Big Boys.” The NFL is finally starting to see that, aside from the 90,000+ fans that pack DI stadiums, DIII football players are for real.

  3. It was 1974 and I was still 17. I too thought I was pretty hot stuff, the high school star. Then, I showed up in Geneva, NY and was struck by seeing bigger, faster, stronger, smarter etc. players. Then, there were the 3 a day practices, not 2, but 3! We had to put those stinky practice jerseys back on and after dinner, went out on the field til dusk, bugs biting, tired, sore. I never amounted to much in D-III. A few starts, but mostly special teams. I still ask myself after all these years, “Would ya do it again?” The answer is always “Hell yes!!”.

  4. I remember when UMHB first began their program. A friend of mine ask me to go see a game. I remember thinking; I would rather see a high school game than see this little D3 school play. I was wrong, and I have been a fan ever since.

    On another note; I read that Jerrell Freeman got cut by the TN Titans. I was wondering how other D3 players are doing in NFL camps. It was a joy watching Jerrell for 4 years at UMHB; he was a monster at LB.

    Can someone give me a update on the following players? Justin Beaver, Pete Schimitt, Jones qb @UWW, Raebel UWW LB.

  5. This year will be interesting at UMHB. We lost a bunch of great guys to graduation. However, I did hear that we got a transfer QB from Baylor. I think MUC has the best chance winning it all, then Wesley, UMHB and UWW.

  6. Oh! Look out for Mississippi College this year in the ASC. I’m glad UMHB is playing them at Belton this year. I look for MC to make the playoffs.

  7. Sorry Hardin-Sinners fans, oh, I meant Simmons. You guys will not challege the ASC this year as in years past.

  8. I always felt Austin Murphy summed it up well when he was aprehempsive about the quality of D-III football. Then, as they started the first game….he wrote “my boys could play”.

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