MACON ‚Äî Pre-registration for Georgia State‚Äôs football camp is well ahead of last year‚Äôs pace.
Penn State coach James Franklin and his coaching staff will be on hand for the June 10 sessions, something that Georgia State coach Trent Miles‚Äô camp website advertises.
Miles said there were 40 or 50 campers who signed up ahead of time last year.
‚ÄúThis year we‚Äôve got a few hundred,‚Äù Miles said.
Franklin is tapping into the recruiting hotbed that is Atlanta and the Southeast at a camp at the Sun Belt Conference school.
That has ruffled some feathers among SEC coaches. Franklin used to be one of them before jumping from Vanderbilt.
SEC rules don‚Äôt allow coaches to work ‚Äúsatellite camps.‚Äù
Georgia‚Äôs Mark Richt and Miles talked to each other about the issue Tuesday morning while at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame for the Peach State Pigskin Preview event.
‚ÄúWe talked,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúYou know what? They‚Äôre doing what‚Äôs in the best interest of their program. Everything‚Äôs on the up and up, everything‚Äôs within the rules. Obviously it‚Äôs good for Georgia State in his mind so I‚Äôm happy for him.‚Äù
The SEC has a rule prohibiting its coaches from working camps at other schools like Franklin is doing.
‚ÄúIt does tie our hands some,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúBut we do want some type of sanity for our assistant coaches. It‚Äôs busy enough as it is.‚Äù
Said Miles: ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre playing by a different set of rules in the SEC. It‚Äôs nothing illegal being done. I‚Äôm abiding by the rule and we‚Äôre doing the best thing for Georgia State football.‚Äù
The surge in interest by campers has to do in large part with Franklin and his staff.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre guest coaches, it‚Äôs my football camp and anybody that works at that is an employee of mine for that time,‚Äù Miles said. ‚ÄúAnd we all know why.‚Äù
Georgia Tech‚Äôs Paul Johnson also spoke to Miles. Johnson said ACC rules don‚Äôt allow him to work other camps either.
‚ÄúAnd nobody probably will be by next year,‚Äù Johnson said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôll change the rule. It‚Äôs skirting the intent of the rule. That‚Äôs not what the rule was for. They know that.‚Äù
Miles said one of his assistants worked with Franklin at Maryland and Miles has known Franklin for years.
Notre Dame is in line to work the Georgia State camp next year. Miles is a former Notre Dame assistant.
Franklin and his staff also reportedly will work at Stetson‚Äôs camp in Deland, Fla.
Richt said college coaches from lower divisions work Georgia‚Äôs camps ‚Äúall the time,‚Äù providing an opportunity for campers to get seen by coaches other than those at Georgia.
Georgia State will have a similar chance with Penn State and Notre Dame coaches there.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôll be more four- and five-star kids that we would never get,‚Äù Miles said.
Miles called it ‚Äúa win-win for the student-athlete. He‚Äôs going to be exposed to more than one coaching staff. He‚Äôs going to have an opportunity to showcase his talents for a chance to earn a scholarship and they‚Äôll be more kids than normal.‚Äù