JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Among controversy, heat, humidity and more than 100 high school football players, the Florida Gators and Jim McElwain were in Jacksonville for a satellite football camp on Wednesday afternoon.
McElwain and the entire Florida football coaching staff were on hand at Trinity Christian Academy, as well as coaches from more than a half dozen other programs to show the kids on hand the "Gator Way." As the Gators head coach addressed the participants before they began, he told them they are, "Going to put you guys through the same practice we would in Gainesville." McElwain went on to jokingly say, "We are going to coach you up and tell you what you did wrong. Don't take it personal!"
This was the second of seven camps for the Gators and their staff. It was also the second of these satellite camps that Trinity Christian has hosted, something head coach Verlon Dorminey says they are very fortunate to do.
"They contacted us and I guess we were fortunate enough to have some kids that can play at the next level, so they came out and wanted to be a part of what we are doing. We are very excited that they are here," said Dorminey.
These satellite camps put on by various schools have raised some controversy throughout the college football world. So much so that just this week the NCAA has banned any coaches to speak to the media about them before, during, or after said camps. That controversy is lost on Coach Dorminey as he says that what is best for the kids should not be controversial.
"It is for the kids and that's why we do it," said Dorminey. "We want to make Northeast Florida football better. So we get a chance for these guys to come out and see all these young men play and get a chance to run around on the field. There's a lot of schools here, it's just not Florida. Troy, The Citadel, Southern Miss, UCF, there's a lot of guys here so it gives the kids a chance to get seen."
Next for McElwain and the Gators coaching staff are three camps on June 12th at Wright State University in Detroit, Sound Mind Academy in Tampa, and Old Dominion University in Virginia.