SOUTH JORDAN — For many student-athletes, June has been spent traveling from one football camp to another. Some have attended as many as a dozen camps in that time. What made this week's camp a little different was that the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds football staff held it at the campus of Bingham High School.
This is the second year that SUU head coach Ed Lamb and the Thunderbirds’ coaching staff have traveled three-plus hours from Cedar City to host a one-day, limited contact camp. Just over 160 student-athletes attended the camp, almost double the attendance from last year.
“There’s a lot of distance between Cedar City and the Salt Lake Valley, so this is a chance for us to come up and get to know the players,” Lamb said.
This last spring, the Thunderbirds received letters of intent from multiple players from northern Utah’s 2014 class. Notables include Tanner Redding (WR, Bountiful), Max Anae (LB/DL, Orem), Guillermo Fierro (OL, Pine View, St. George), and Sione Lapuaho (DL, Hunter).
The Thunderbirds coaching staff is expecting great things again this year when it comes to recruiting efforts. “We’re looking for length, strength and positive attitude. And we can’t expect that the guys making plays out here aren't already being recruited by other schools,” Lamb said.
When it comes to attracting players to Cedar City, they look for players who have “development potential, positive attitudes and solid GPAs. We won’t overlook guys who make plays regardless of their size and speed. Playmakers are hard to come by,” Lamb said.
The Thunderbirds are coming off one of the most challenging seasons in recent history, so finding solid recruits is a priority for SUU football. Holding the camp at Bingham High School has proved to be a success, with players attending from all over the Rocky Mountains, including Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.
When it comes to size and speed, these players cover the entire range. So SUU got what it was looking for this year.
Players who attended the camp include Tyler Himes (RB, Davis), Tevita Tauteoli (OL, Hunter), Colton Miller (WR/DB, Pine View, St. George), Hunter Red (TE, Queen Creek, Arizona), Cole Clemens (OL, Bingham), Damon Dance (TE, Snake River, Blackfoot, Idaho), Bradley Quick (DL/OL, Bountiful), Asueru Semeatu (WR/FS, Cyprus), Justin Miller (QB, Lone Peak), Jason Money (QB, Spanish Fork), Tanner Thompson (QB, Hillcrest), Josh McMillan (TE, Herriman), Alan Caudillo (OLB, Rigby, Idaho), Dillon Bennett (DE, Herriman), Mason Ewing (DE, Layton), Brock Larsen (DL, Bountiful), Adrian Rodriguez (OL, Spanish Fork), Alassane Niang (WR/DB, Highland), and Dominieke Jones (CB, Bingham).
All the student-athletes experienced a camp filled with high energy and rapid-fire drills with particular focus on position fundamentals. Coaches stressed the importance of excellent citizenship, maintaining a focus on academics and working hard toward their goals. “While there is a good recruiting benefit for SUU, these camps work best when it’s about helping the guys learn the fundamentals of football and teaching hard work on and off the field,” Lamb said.
Utah high schools kick off the fall season of football in just over eight weeks.
Bill Quick, an Idaho native, studied communications, history and business at the University of Utah. He is the Sr. Director of Marketplace Operations at Deseret Digital Media and Deseret Connect Contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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