Central Catholic Product Receives BYU Offer

Recently the BYU coaching staff offered a talented running back with friend and familial ties to BYU. Cameron Scarlett was offered by Bronco Mendenhall after his assistant coaches felt that he was a perfect fit for BYU. It was a close family friend who currently plays football at BYU that got the BYU coaches to first evaluate, and then offer Scarlett.

Cameron Scarlett, listed at 6-1, 185-pounds, plays at Central Catholic High School (OR) is the latest 2015 prospect to be offered a scholarship by Bronco Mendenhall and BYU, bringing Scarlett's current total offers to five.

"Well, my first one was from UC Davis and then I got one from Oregon State about a month again," Scarlett said. "Then I got Washington State a couple of days after. Then Arizona State a couple days ago then BYU a few days ago."

Scarlett was first evaluated by Kelly Poppinga who recruits the Pacific Northwest for BYU, but it wasn't long until Running Backs Coach Mark Atuaia was invited to participate in the evaluation process. Three days ago the conclusion was an affirmative and it wasn't long before Scarlett was on the phone with Coach Mendenhall.

"It's mostly been Coach Poppinga but I've been talking to Coach Atuaia and Coach Mendenhall is the one that actually offered me," Scarlett said. "I called them and was talking to Coach Poppinga, who was at my basketball game the day before. I talked to Coach Atuaia right before my basketball practice, and then I ended up going home and my coach told me to call Coach Mendenhall later and he ended up offering me."

In order to receive a BYU scholarship offer a prospect must be exceptional in three areas. On the field play is one but being sound in the classroom as well as in character is also just as, if not more, important in the process. When it comes to the football field, Scarlett's performance from last season was pretty impressive.

"I had 1,700 rushing yards and averaged 12 yards per carry," said Scarlett. "I had, I think, 2,800 all-purpose yards, around 700 receiving yards, and 33 touchdowns all together."

However, when it comes to his scholarship offer from BYU, Scarlett doesn't take much credit from his on-field play. He places the credit squarely at the feet of his very close friend and Oregon native, Dallin Leavitt, who was instrumental in turning the BYU coaches onto Scarlett.

"Yeah, Dallin is a really good friend of mine," said Scarlett. "I end up hanging with Dallin every time he comes home from BYU. He tells the coaches a lot about me and is a big factor in the reason why they knew about me. He tries to get my name out there to the coaches and it worked. Dallin is one of my good friends."

The relationship between them is really one of a brotherhood than friends, which is why Leavitt was so persistent in getting the BYU coaches out to take a further look at Scarlett.

"Dallin is really like family to me," said Scarlett with a slight laugh in his voice. "He told me that from the very first day, like a week before my game, he was telling me that he was telling the coaches, ‘You need to offer Cameron. He's going to be the best player in the state this year.' When I talked to the BYU coaches, Coach Atuaia was like, ‘Yeah, Dallin said a lot of good stuff about you, and he knows everything that's going on with you.' Dallin did a good job in trying to get me that scholarship [offer]."

There are many players that BYU has recruited from the greater Portland area and Scarlett knows just about every one of them. Through Leavitt, Scarlett also has gotten to know another current BYU player in Brayden Kearsley.

"I know Brayden but I'm not really as close to Brayden as I am Dallin," said Scarlott. "I just know him through Dallin and being around Dallin so much I just met him a couple of times."

From the sound of things, it appears that Leavitt is already working on Scarlett to convince him to come to BYU.

"Yeah, Dallin told me that I could live with him if I come out there," Scarlett said with a laugh. "He told me I could come live with him."

Scarlett watched a few BYU games this past season and saw Leavitt, who was a true freshman last season, playing in games on ESPN.

"It's pretty exciting and he did really well last year," said Scarlett. "He could be starting the next three years, which is exactly what he wanted [going] there to BYU. He's going to be something special."

While Scarlett has friends in Leavitt and Kearsley that currently attend BYU, his connection to the school runs much deeper. Cameron's father Paul, who is the director of Portland's Bureau of Development Services, was a sprinter at BYU and competed in the 100m event at the 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from BYU and holds a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University. Paul Scarlett still visits BYU from time to time according to his son Cameron.

"I actually know a lot about BYU," said Scarlett. "My dad graduated from BYU and went there and ran track back in the late 80's, so I've been there two or three times. I've met with the coaches and my older brother got offered by BYU a couple of years ago. BYU is a really good school and they're strict with their rules and stuff, but that's not a problem for me or anything I need to worry about. It's definitely a good place.

Scarlett's dad still has friends form his time at BYU and has told Cameron about the experiences & interactions he had during his time in Provo.

"He told me some stories and said he still has a lot of good friends at BYU. He has a really close relationship with BYU because he still goes back there now and then for some board meetings that he's a part of. He told me some stories about him being the life of the party whenever he would walk in. He said everyone knew who he was there whenever he walked through the door. He still goes back there and was back there pretty recently. He was actually back there last year was the last time he went back. He's on some board that brings him back out there every now and then."

The last time Scarlett was on campus at BYU was when he was about 12 years old. He visited the campus with his father Paul while his older Brennan Scarlett was receiving a scholarship offer from the BYU coaching staff.

"Yeah, it's been a few years since I've been down there, but the last time I was there was when I was 12," Scarlett said. "I went down there and met with the coaches when my brother received his scholarship from Coach Mendenhall."

Upon receiving his football scholarship from BYU, Cameron Scarlett and his father, Paul, were excited. He now has the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father if he so chooses.

"Yeah for sure and that's definitely a big one coming from a college with my family ties to BYU," said Scarlett. "It definitely got me excited because BYU is a great school and because it made my dad proud. It's definitely a great offer and I'm excited to see what BYU has to offer to see if that is the right school for me."

Now that Scarlett holds a BYU scholarship offer he hopes to get out and visit the campus sometime this summer. He currently has a scheduled visit for Washington in February but hopes to be able to attend a spring practice at BYU not long after.

"Yeah, I'm supposed to go to Washington's junior day coming up on February 8th, and I'm going to try to get out to BYU for maybe spring ball," said Scarlett. "If I can't get out there for spring ball I want to go sometime during the summer. I'm going to try to make a trip down to Cal to see my brother, and then I'll probably try and see some other schools when I'm down there too. I don't have any plans other than the Washington one coming up, but I'll probably make some trips this summer."

TotalBlueSports.com will continue to monitor the recruitment of Cameron Scarlett and report on any future developments.

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