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Here Comes Jalen Camp

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Jalen Camp is one of the most impressive and fascinating prospects in the NFL Draft.

"I think that I'm a diamond in the rough in this entire process. I have faith in myself that I can make plays at the next level and I'm just ready to show that."
~Jalen Camp

Jalen Camp is committed to his craft. He takes pride in the process of getting better, with results that are clear to see. As a senior at Georgia Tech, Camp led the Yellow Jackets with 29 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns, recording the second-most catches in a single season at the program in more than a decade. Success has come on the field and off as Camp, in addition to other workout highlights, recently did 30 bench press repititions of 225 pounds, which would be a record at the NFL Combine for receivers.  

At 6'2'', 226 pounds, Camp is one of the most impressive and fascinating prospects in the NFL Draft. He has both the skills for the next level and the perspective for what it takes to get there. 

Literally and figuratively, Camp has been working towards his next opportunity for years. Family has been a big part of his foundation. It's a base, with a father who is an accomplished strength and conditioning coach, that has always come with a proper technique.  

"The weight room is a place that I have taken seriously for a long time," Jalen reflected. "My dad has been, I guess, training me since I was ten years old. I kind of grew up in the weight room, probably earlier than a lot of people did. Just growing up in that weight room, him working with me my entire life has just helped me tremendously. It showed on my pro day, just the type of athlete that I am. I don't think there are too many guys out there more athletic than me. That was something that I wanted to showcase."   

With his family owning Power Performance Fitness in Cumming, Camp has long made the most of his time at the gym. The months leading up to the NFL Draft have been no different. In addition to his on-field tape, production which includes a 59-yard touchdown catch against Clemson and five receptions for 97 yards and a score in his last game, Camp's measurables have only added to his momentum. A number of his training tapes have elevated the profile of a prospect eager to make the most of his upcoming chance.  

Scouts have been able to see Camp's amazing potential and also the consistent work, in the gym six days a week and receiver training with Top Shelf three days a week, he is putting in to realize it. 

"I've been here with my dad, he has his own facility, so I just drive down the street, go train with him and then I do my receiving training down in Atlanta. Everything has been great," Camp shared. "At the very beginning our training was geared to pro day and making sure that we put a finished product out there for the scouts and I think we did that. Now it's just me focused on staying in shape and being ready for whatever team decides to get me and making sure I'm in the best shape possible."

As a wide receiver, Camp is a unique and exciting prospect. In addition to his rare physical abilities, a background in basketball also helps make up Camp's game. There are many elements that clearly cross-over and Camp has become quite proficient in "jump ball" situations. He has also benefited from playing in multiple offensive systems at Georgia Tech, the current scheme of head coach Geoff Collins and coordinator Dave Patenaude and the previous one of Paul Johnson as well.  

"A lot of people dog the triple-option but it was definitely valuable for us and for me in my development. We were asked to make those big plays down the field on third down and those were most likely 50-50 balls. That helped me elevate my game," Camp explained. "Once I transitioned to Coach Patendaude's offense, I was ready to make those big plays for him as well."

Before emerging as a go-to receiver in college, Camp was well-established as a downfield blocker.

"The triple option made me a better playmaker down the field. Also being a great run blocker. I think a lot of the receivers who come out of the triple option become better blockers just because you are asked to block that much more, your blocking is so key in that offense," Camp nodded. "That will definitely help me transition to the next level." 

This past season with Collins and Patenaude came with Camp thriving as a WR1. 

"It was exciting when we had Geoff come in. Once we saw who our head coach was, we were ancy waiting to see who our offensive coordinator was going to be," he recalled. "Once we saw that it was Coach Patenaude, we went back and watched his clips. Just watching the way he spreads things out and gets the ball in the air, it kind of had all of us excited in the receiver room especially because we knew the opportunities that we were going to have coming up that season were going to be a lot more than what we had in the triple option."

Ahead of the NFL Draft, Camp is quite confident and for good reason. He has put in the work tracked the progress alike. Modeling his approach and play after all-everything Falcons star Julio Jones, Camp believes his best days are ahead of him. There is a special energy and focus to Camp, whose stock is on the rise, as the start of his professional career approaches. Camp has heard from the 49ers, Bengals and Raiders, among others, as of late.

The team that selects Camp will get a player with a purpose.  

"They will get a hard worker, one of the hardest workers. They will get an incredible athlete," Camp stated. "I think that I'm a diamond in the rough in this entire process. I have faith in myself that I can make plays at the next level and I'm just ready to show that." 

It goes without saying that Camp, having recently reached an astonishing 23.5 MPH on a treadmill, will hit the ground running.

"Whatever team does take a chance on me will get the steal of the draft," he added.

Camp continues to put in the work. As usual, he is ready for more.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports