The Recruiting Guy:

OBU's Shockley calls Natural State Elite Camp the Walmart of camps

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, June 8, 2018
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/HELAINE R. WILLIAMS

Brett Shockley, Offensive line/ tight ends coach at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ouachita Baptist left tackle Mike Russell;  Trevon Biglow, defensive lineman, Harding University in Searcy; and Harding assistant Coach Paul Simmons at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's 12th annual Awards Banquet featuring Darren McFadden, held Feb. 11 in the  ballroom of the Embassy Suites Little Rock.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/HELAINE R. WILLIAMS Brett Shockley, Offensive line/ tight ends coach at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ouachita Baptist left tackle Mike Russell; Trevon Biglow, defensive lineman, Harding University in Searcy; and Harding assistant Coach Paul Simmons at the Little Rock Touchdown Club's 12th annual Awards Banquet featuring Darren McFadden, held Feb. 11 in the ballroom of the Embassy Suites Little Rock.

Ouachita Baptist University offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Brett Shockley is a big proponent of the Natural State Elite Camp.

This year’s version was held at Cliff Harris Stadium on the OBU campus in Arkadelphia and featured more than 300 athletes.

Shockley, a Conway native who played on the offensive line at Arkansas, recalls a handful of camps being available to high school athletes about 20 years ago.

“Now these kids are going to camps for 10-15 straight days,” he said.

The Natural State Elite Camp can eliminate the need for prospects to travel the state to attend camps.

“They can say ‘OK, we’ll go to that one camp and be seen by 12 schools and then go to a specialty camp at a bigger school,” Shockley said. “It’s kind of like the Walmart of football camps, I guess.”

Arkansas' staff at the camp included coach Chad Morris, offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, receivers coach Justin Stepp, tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., offensive line coach Dustin Fry, defensive coordinator John Chavis and defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell.

Other in-state schools on hand were Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Harding, Arkansas Tech, Henderson State, Arkansas-Monticello, Southern Arkansas University, Hendrix, Lyon College and Arkansas Baptist.

The camp can be a big help to prospects who play in smaller classifications and college coaches who may question the level of competition players face.

“I love small-town kids,” Shockley said. “I love the small-town players. They’ve been great for us because they do get passed over a lot.”

Shockley said it’s rare for for the Tigers’ staff not to know about an athlete, but occasionally they will find a player that was unknown to them. OBU has signed numerous kids from the camp.

“Over the past two years probably 10-15 kids,” he said. “It wasn't so much that we didn't know about them, but just getting to see them. It’s helped us go on some kids and helped us rule some kids out.”

He estimated 80 prospects received scholarships from last year’s camp.

“I just know looking at the list that we had at camp last year and looking on signing day, I think I counted up probably that many kids who were at the camp who had scholarship offers,” Shockley said.

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