BYU scouting out speedy California athlete

Coach Poppinga was in Northern California recently to scout out a few prospects for the 2012 class. Among his stops was Jackson, California, where he went to check out a prospect considered one of the faster athletes in the area.

Coach Kelly Poppinga made the trip out to Jackson, California to scout out Argonaut High School junior LDS athlete Austin Cramer.

"After the season was over we started putting film together," said Cramer. "We then found out that Poppinga was the new recruiting coach for this area, and he actually called our coach, Coach Rick Davis, and spoke with him about us. Coach Poppinga came down and talked to Coach Davis about us as players and as individuals. After his meeting with our coach, he stayed over and watched us in our basketball game."

A multi-sport athlete, the 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound Cramer is currently playing basketball for the Argonaut Mustangs and then will run track later on.

"I've never ran track before, so when I got into high school I wanted to run track," Cramer said. "My mom did the hurdles when she ran track in high school, so I wanted to run the hurdles. When I first started running track as a freshman, the coaches thought I was really fast so they moved me up to varsity right off the bat. After a while, they decided to move me down to junior varsity so I could get more points for our team and win more races. At the end of the year, I broke the JV league San Joaquin hurdle record and ran a 15.86 as a freshman."

Then as a sophomore, Cramer competed on the varsity team right off the bat.

"I started running the hurdles, and then halfway through the season I realized that I had pain in my groin area. I didn't really think much about it and kept running. I ended up winning league and then going onto section, taking third in the sub-section qualifying meet. As a sophomore I ended being ranked 15th in our section, beating my old record at 15.51."

Despite his injury, Cramer was able to continue to compete well.

"With two pulled groins I ended up being ranked 30th overall for sophomores in the state of California," said Cramer. "In the San Joaquin Section I was ranked 15th overall. Right after track, I decided to do forty testing and was clocked at a 4.5 with a pulled groin. Hopefully, after we do the forty testing after this track season, I should be the fastest. If I didn't have those two pulled groins my time would have been better in the hurdles my sophomore year.

"After track I went to a physical therapist about my groin and ended up finding out that I had been running with two pulled groins. I had to sit out the first two-and-a-half months of football conditioning and then into the season."

His injury actually kept Cramer out of a good number of games during football season.

"I only played in seven games on the season because I was recovering from my groin injury, but with that being said, I had one interception for a 30 yard return," said Cramer. "Season totals for tackles, I had 30 with 27 assists for a total of 57 as a free safety. I'm mainly a defensive back and free safety and have played a little bit of outside linebacker."

Despite the time he missed, Cramer still saw action on offense and special teams.

"Offensively, I played a little bit of tight end, a little bit of running back this past year and usually play like a split end or wide receiver. I also do kick and punt returns, mainly kick returns.

"I filled in for our starting running back because he got injured about the start of league play. We don't really have a whole lot of wide receiver action in our offense because we run a double-wing offense. We'll sometimes split out our running backs as wide receivers. For rushing I had 54 carries for 447 yards, averaging 8.28 yards per carry, and seven touchdowns, and then I had four receptions for 46 yards, averaging 11.5 yard per catch."

Coach Poppinga is currently scouting Cramer out and there will be more evaluations to come, but Cramer does plan on marketing himself more.

"I plan on going to a few combines this summer," Cramer said. "I plan on attending a Nike combine and then going to one or two of the football camps for BYU over the summer and maybe Junior Day as well."

Cramer also plans on serving a mission.

"I would plan on going to school for a year, then going on a mission," Cramer said. "After that I would plan on coming back and finishing out college."

When it comes to top college choices, there is one college that Cramer at the top of his list: BYU. He is hoping the Cougar coaching staff will like what they see and pull the scholarship trigger.

"There really isn't any other option for me," Cramer said. "I really haven't thought of any other schools besides BYU. I'll still look at other schools just in case, but my number one choice is definitely BYU. I've been on the campus a lot over the past couple of years going to sports camp and EFY. It's just a really nice campus and great environment."

If BYU happens to offer the Jackson-native a scholarship, Cramer wouldn't think twice about accepting it.

"If BYU offers me a scholarship, I would look at it as a blessing," he said. "I would definitely be very excited and then I would take it right then and there. I would commit to BYU on the spot because I feel that's the best option for me."

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