Football: Camps highlight busy week for Mean Green

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North Texas already had plans to get a long look at some of its top recruiting targets this week during its annual Friday Night Lights camp at Apogee Stadium.

Those lights will now shine Thursday as well.

UNT has invited approximately 100 players to its Talon Talent camp, an event reserved for top prospects. The Thursday camp will be a precursor to UNT’s annual Friday night event that is open to all high school players.

The two camps this week will be the culmination of a summer of satellite camps across the state that have allowed UNT’s assistant coaches to develop relationships with players and get a better handle on their priorities when putting together their 2014 recruiting class.

“We pushed it back so we could get through our summer camps and the early commitment period,” UNT recruiting coordinator Noah Joseph said. “That way we could see who we want and build some relationships with those players.”

The final two camps of UNT’s summer series will be part of a key week for the program leading up to its season opener against Idaho on Aug. 31 at Apogee.

Conference USA media day is Wednesday in Dallas. The event will be the unofficial debut of UNT as a C-USA school after 12 seasons in the Sun Belt Conference.

The week’s events will culminate with UNT’s annual women’s clinic on Saturday. The annual event gives UNT’s coaches a chance to interact with female fans.

UNT will open fall camp on Aug. 5.

UNT’s summer camp circuit has already paid dividends in the form of early commitments from DeSoto defensive tackle Shaquel Jackson and defensive end Johnavhon Grahm.

UNT made stops in Duncanville, Arlington and Katy, among other cities. UNT head coach Dan McCarney said before he and his staff began their statewide tour that the effort they made over previous summers has helped improve the team’s talent level.

That improvement has paid dividends on the field, where UNT has won nine games in McCarney’s first two seasons, exceeding the eight total wins the Mean Green posted the previous four years combined.

“We have more guys who can play Division I and play on Sundays,” McCarney said. “We have more guys who want to take a look, and when they do, we have a shot.”

UNT has lined up another shot to make an impression on some of the players it is targeting the class of 2014 this week, when the lights at Apogee will shine a day early.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.


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