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.