Recruiting camps, combines and 7-on-7s have become a huge part of the culture of college football recruiting, and many players from the 2014 class are set to make a splash this spring.
Sometimes, all you need is a good showing at a camp or 7-on-7 or two to really boost your recruiting stock by increasing your hype within the recruiting world.
On the other hand, if your limitations are exposed by the high level of competition, it could end up being a long spring season. Competition is the name of the game at these events, and those who can stand out amongst the best of the best end up really setting themselves up nicely heading into the summer season.
With that in mind, here are the biggest/most important camps, combines and 7-on-7s for recruits coming up this spring:
The NFL may be in the title of this camp series, but believe me, this is a big camp for high school football players looking to step up their games.
Recruits at these camps learn fundamentals and techniques that they can utilize as football players, but they are also taught nutrition, leadership and even academic and character development (according to the (VTO Sports website).
They are also coached up by former NFL and college coaches, so it's obviously an extremely valuable experience. According to the website, academics, coach and teacher recommendations and even essays all play into whether or not a recruit is invited.
The next camps take place in Houston on March 30-31, followed by Baltimore on April 6-7. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Richmond, Dallas, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, New Jersey, Maryland, Los Angeles and other cities will host NFL Prep 100 events as well this spring.
The Elite 11 is a group of (you guessed it) 11 of the best quarterback recruits in the nation, as determined by the Elite 11 competition.
The competition is a week long in the summer and features 24 quarterback recruits. The regional tryouts begin this spring, so there's a lot for college football recruiting fans to look forward to.
According to the Elite 11 Facebook page, there are tryouts coming up in Dallas (4/6), Atlanta (4/12), Washington D.C. (4/20), Chicago (5/3), San Francisco (5/17) and Columbus (6/1).
If finding the next great college quarterback piques your interest, the Elite 11 is for you.
The National 7v7 Football Association is a huge organization that provides recruits with multiple venues and games to compete in 7-on-7 competition.
There are multiple big-time tournaments coming up that will all culminate at the IMG 7v7 National Championship tournament in June.
Leading up to the championship will be regional championships in April and May as well as the Midwest Elite 7v7 Passing Tournament on May 25-26.
While 7-on-7 may not always be fundamentally accurate, it allows skill players to show off their abilities in a very competitive and near-game-like environment in regards to routes and coverages.
Nike is one of the biggest names in sports, so naturally, it puts together one of the bigger camp series of the recruiting cycle.
This is free for recruits to attend as long as they have been invited or recommended by their high school coach. Players can also send in their tape for evaluation and consideration or stand out at a Nike Football SPARQ Combine (all per studentsports.com).
Recruits are trained in SPARQ and positional techniques. Top players from these camps will be invited to Nike's "The Opening," which is a major summer camp.
There are major Nike camps coming up in the spring in Dallas, Atlanta, Memphis, Washington D.C., New York/Jersey, Chicago and Oakland. You can find the dates here.
Rivals is still arguably the biggest name in college football recruiting (though there are a few services that would dispute that), so it's only fair that it gets the No. 1 spot on the list.
The Rivals camp series allows players to interview with media, get pictures taken and work on techniques and especially, one-on-ones. That's where you'll see wide receivers go against defensive backs, running backs against linebackers and so on.
For a recruit, these camps are a great way to get noticed and stand out amongst elite competition. It's also a rather prestigious camp, especially now that Rivals is working with Under Armour.
Camps coming up this spring include Birmingham (4/6), Atlanta (4/7), Richmond (4/13), Charlotte (4/14), Cincinnati (4/20), St. Louis area (4/21), Newark (4/27) Pittsburgh (4/28) and Chicago (5/4).