Ron Roberts football camp offers recruiting opportunity

Shane Smith runs Ponchatoula High School and De La Salle High School football players through a 7-on-7 drill.

Shane Smith runs Ponchatoula High School and De La Salle High School football players through a 7-on-7 drill. 
The Lion's Roar/Ian Fischer

Head Football Coach Ron Roberts’ success in getting Lions football from the bottom to a championship level team in the Southland Conference has given special credibility to his June football camps. For many young football players, his camps will be the kick off for their college careers. 

The Lions’ Football Twitter, @SLUFootball, featured several successful football players who went to previous Ron Roberts camps such as Xavier Roberson, Gasten Gabriel and defensive back Harlan Miller who made the Arizona Cardinals in 2016 6th round pick.  Covington High School running back Marcus Williams said he attended his camp on Jun. 3 to support his teammates. He hopes to follow in Miller’s footsteps. 

“I’d love to play for Southeastern Lions,” said Williams. “I’d play either return specialist or DB.”

Most of the athletes who attend these camps are high school football players, but according to Roberts, athletes from the university and junior colleges who want to play for the Lions have been encouraged to attend. This is because Roberts and his staff use the camps as an opportunity to see if the football players are capable of playing for the Lions.

“We tell them, ‘Look, if you want to try out now, you have to come to elite camp,’” said Roberts. “And that’s it.”

Aside from one youth camp in July, most of the camps run in June. The camps are a 7-on-7/OL-DL Trench Wars, High School Elite Camps and Kicking/Long Snapping Camps. 

According to Roberts, aside from working on various athletic evaluation football skills at the camps, the athletes are prepared to work with college coaches.

“We’ll do position skill work with our coaches, coaching them up with how we coach certain things,” said Roberts.  

High schoolers from the entire state come to the camps. Offensive coach Dayton Landry and his team from Sam Houston High School came to the Jun. 3 practice, which is a benefit to his players.

“Over the summer time you get a little, not bored, but repetitive with your workouts,” said Landry. “This gives us an opportunity to get out, have some fun and work on our timing.”

 Landry’s team was participating in the 7-on-7 and not the OL/DL Trench Wars because his line needed a break.

“It’s just our fast guys out here today,” said Landry. “We’ll let the big dogs, you know, rest a little bit today.”

According to Roberts, there will be satellite camps conducted with LSU in Shreveport and New Orleans.