Denson feeling no pressure

The depth of the local 2014 class has been well chronicled, but it's not exclusive to the Metro Phoenix area. Four-star prospect Cameron Denson from Tucson Salpointe Catholic has been garnering heavy recruiting attention, despite being a University of Arizona pledge. Whether it's his recruiting process or his quest to eclipse a solid junior year, Denson is able to take it all in stride.

The 6-1 170-pound Cameron Denson, who is ranked by Fox Sports Next as the nation's no.12 wide receiver, not only excelled at the position he is being recruited at, but also showed uncanny versatility as a junior.

When Lancers' quarterback Andrew Cota was sidelined four games due to injury, Denson grabbed the signal caller reigns and completed 78 percent of his passes for 408 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with all of his games coming in a winning effort.

Throughout the season Denson rushed for 1,026 yards and 18 touchdowns, as well hauling in 37 passes for 585 yards and two scores. As a defensive back he collected 18 tackles and two interceptions.

These days as he partakes in spring practice, Denson commented that he's working on enhancing the connection between him and his quarterback in terms of routes and timing and just "getting back into the groove."

Denson realizes that playing multiple positions in 2012 gave him an invaluable and unique perspective of the game.

"Playing quarterback helps you as a wide receiver knowing what the quarterback is seeing," Denson explained. "Giving you that different view of the game helped me elevate my game a little more. Playing defensive back helps you as a wide receiver to anticipate their moves."

The Lancers posted a 12-2 record last year and lost in the semifinal round of the state's Division II playoffs. Returning as one of the state's elite high school players on one of the state's premiere teams, isn't a combination of lofty expectations that burdens Denson.

"I don't think there is any pressure for me or the team," Denson noted. "We are a veteran team who can only get better. We lost a few players but we also gained someone like Kaelin Deboskie who is going to help us a lot in the passing game and as a defensive back."

Last week ASU recruiting coordinator Chip Long observed the Lancers' spring practice joining other coaches from programs around the country who dropped in at one point or another in their pursuit of Arizona's wide receiver commitment. Denson admitted that the recruiting process overall has certainly presented some challenges.

"It can get crazy at times because you hear so many things from different people," Denson said, "but you just have to try to have a good time with it."

Arizona State is one program that has pursued Denson for over a year now. The Sun Devils' explosive offensive scheme didn't go unnoticed in the wide receiver's observations of the program.

"They run a very good type of offense – a spread offense," Denson stated. "That's something I look for in a school because that's what I like to play in. So that would be one reason why I like them.

"The Arizona State coaches feel that I can really fit in their offense and tell me that they need receivers. They feel that I'm a dynamic player who can make plays all over the field. They said I can do a lot of different little things, but that I'm also a game changer."

Denson remarked that the Sun Devil staff has always stressed to him how much they will work hard to keep the in-state talent home. He admitted that the new notion of not venturing too far from home to play at the next level does have a strong appeal.

"That is something I think about a lot," Denson admitted. "I have been talking to some of the in-state guys about playing close to home and going to the same school. We all have our different opinions, so if it works out it works out. But I think it's a benefit staying close to home.

"When playing close to home you get that sense of comfort from your family. You know that they will see every game and every holiday you can go back home to see them and it won't be any trouble. Just little things like that help."

It's not uncommon to hear ASU players from Southern California cite Arizona State being their ultimate destination because it was a school that was away from home but also close enough for them and their family to see each other often.

A player such as Denson who resides just roughly 100 miles from Tempe is certainly cognizant of the attractive proximity factor ASU offers.

"I can see that being an advantage," Denson said.

The wide receiver said that while he still sees himself committed to Arizona, he hasn't ruled out looking at other schools. Regardless of what his eventual destination will be, Denson wants to make sure that a few items are marked off of his checklist.

"I want to go to a place where I can play in a couple of years," Denson said. "I want to have a good connection with the coaches, where they welcome you in like family. Just having a basic comfort at where you're at."

Junior season highlights


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