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HAMMOCK: Eagles' camp at Mill Creek great idea

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

The Gwinnett County area doesn't lack for avid Georgia Southern football fans, something I'm reminded of when Daily Post subscribers send me messages for more coverage of their team.

Those same fans will be happy to hear about the Eagles' new idea of bringing their one-day football camps away from their Statesboro campus and closer to high school athletes in this area. The longtime football power split its one-day camps into two sessions this summer -- one this Saturday at Mill Creek for north Georgia and one at Camden County for south Georgia -- with hopes of attracting more rising seniors by cutting down on travel.

A high number of Gwinnett players already have committed to Saturday's camp, which is expected to draw more than 300 college prospects.

"We figure we'll get more coverage of the state that way," Georgia Southern offensive coordinator Brent Davis, who played his high school football at Duluth, said of splitting the camps into north and south Georgia. "We may even get some kids in the Greenville-Spartanburg (S.C.) area to the camp."

It's not a bad drive down I-85 for those kids, but it's an even better one for rising high school seniors in metro Atlanta, particularly here in Gwinnett. Any players who have desires of playing for perennial power Georgia Southern can save a drive to Statesboro by showing off at the Mill Creek camp.

The one-day event is called a camp, but like most college football camps, it's more like a combine. Players will be weighed, measured and tested, giving the Eagles coaches a great chance to see a concentrated number of potential recruits in one location. It's an equally good opportunity for the high schoolers to catch the eye of a college coach.

Registration for the event has been so popular that both the game and practice fields at Mill Creek will be used for the camp. The Hawks have built a strong relationship with Georgia Southern -- recent Mill Creek grads Austin Hagan, Cody Rediger and Devonte Lewis are headed to Statesboro this fall -- that will continue this weekend.

"It's great exposure for our program," Mill Creek head football coach Shannon Jarvis said. "We're happy that we're able to offer our place up for them."

Plenty of Georgia Southern football fans here in Gwinnett are happy, too.

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock.