Staff Photo: John Bohn Bill Curry, head coach of the Georgia State University football program, discusses a football camp that he runs for high school players. A session of the Bill Curry Football Camp was held at Parkview High School Thursday.
LILBURN -- Time approached 2 p.m. Thursday and all across Parkview's football field, high school players were running through drills. There were shouts and whistles. Players and coaches alike running and sweating and working. And with the exception of a short lunch break and a brief talk, this had been consistent since around 8 a.m.
"These are kids that really love football," Georgia State head football coach and host of the camp Bill Curry said. "If you look here, this is late in the day, they've been going hard now for about five hours. We just broke for lunch for 30 minutes and they have come back out and they are practicing with a lot of enthusiasm. And they are improving. You can see specific people improve and that is what we are after. Our whole goal is to teach football."
Curry hosts his prospect camps across Georgia with the state goal of teaching football, even if it's just a day of instruction. Thursday's event at Parkview was the second of four camps and the only one in Gwinnett. Curry and his coaches head to Camden County on Tuesday and host the final camp at Georgia State on June 16. Registration for the final camps are still open and more information is available at www.billcurryfootballcamp.com. The NCAA doesn't allow camps to extend too far from a school's campus, not that Curry cares. Georgia works fine for him.
"We don't need to go out of the state," he said.
Logistics played a role in selecting the sites for his camps, but Curry wanted to keep them in areas where plenty of talent lived, hence Gwinnett, Camden and LaGrange.
"There are a lot of worthy schools and places we could do this," he said.
With a bullhorn in hand, Curry travelled from station to station during the afternoon session, usually observing quietly, allowing his coaches the freedom to instruct. The camp boasts his name, but the idea is to promote and entrench Georgia State football in its community.
"I think the best thing, in our case, is for the parents and students to get to know our coaches and find out how delightful it is to work with them," Curry said. "They are very enthusiastic, knowledgable and always, always pushing for you to get your best. That is a tremendous advantage for us to be known in the community and hopefully it will improve the program."
Along with the lunch break, the camp's attendees also learned the basics of the college recruiting process, be it by Georgia State or any other program.
And, at its heart, that's the point of the camp: teaching.
"We try to emphasize that if you can find a couple of things you can work on that will cause you to improve just a little," Curry said. "You can improve two percent every day on something."
Entering its third season, Curry continues to work on building the Georgia State program. After two seasons, the team is 9-13 overall. But that is what these camps are about as well, continuing the process of making Georgia State football appealing both to coaches and players across Georgia.
"We've told them, 'Our biggest goal is for your high school coach to call us and say, 'I don't know what you did with him, but he sure improved, thank you,'" Curry said. "That's our No. 1 goal and No. 2 we'd like to have a presence in the community. so when we do come recruiting, everybody does know what we stand for."