RM Cameron Jensen Reaffirms "BYU is the Place"

BYU's leading tackler this season is even more convinced than ever that he made the right college choice after he was aggressively wooed by Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Arizona State and BYU after returning from his LDS church mission in Rostov, Russia.

Offered only by Utah State out of high school, Cameron Jensen, the 6-2, 230 pound middle linebacker from Bountiful, Utah, opted instead to attend the LDS Church-owned Rick's College in Idaho for a freshman season where he excelled enough to become highly sought after when he and his coach put together and mailed out an impressive highlight video.

"At the time, I went under the (recruiting) radar. I didn't really try to get recruited because I was going on my mission. I just got the film saved up and ended up sending it out and it worked well."

Nobody wanted me out of my JC. Just Utah State offered me, but I just threw some film out and got a response. A lot of people needed some linebackers and I just came back (from LDS mission) at a great time," Cameron said.

"(Oklahoma coach) Venables, their linebacker coach, offered me," Jensen said of the Sooners strong interest immediately upon his return from Russia. "He's a defensive coordinator now. He was a great guy and it's a great program back there."

After visiting the other top contenders, Jensen settled on BYU. "They're (Oklahoma) a great team, but I've got to tell you, this is where I'm supposed to be. You know, I haven't looked back. When I watch their (Oklahoma) games, it's the last thing on my mind. I don't think about that. This is where I'm supposed to be," Jensen emphasized.

Finding a comfortable home executing Bronco Mendenhall's demanding defense has been a gratifying and fulfilling experience for Jensen.

"I love it. There's not a better defense around and sure not one that I would want to play for. I love this defense and the mentality it takes. I love the effort it takes and the work ethic he (Mendenhall) demands from his players. I wouldn't want it any other way," Jensen added.

As one of BYU's new field generals, the sophomore Jensen, currently leads the defense with 45 solo tackles and 38 assisted tackles for a team high of 83 tackles. He also has 10.5 tackles for a loss (second behind Brady Poppinga) and is tied with safety Jon Burbidge and cornerback Micah Alba with two interceptions each on the year.

"It's been great, but I've got a long ways to go. And I'm not just saying that because that's what most people say, but I do. I have a long ways to go. I'm learning a lot each game, but there is a lot that I need to improve on," said Jensen.

To enhance his development and gridiron education, Jensen takes extra time to evaluate plenty of game footage to correct his mistakes and seek ways to improve his game.

"I've been watching a lot of film previous games to seeing what I need to do better and focus on mentally. It's just been great being able to sit back and see how the season's been going and set goals on your performance for the next games," he said .

Jensen pointed out he absorbs everything he can from fellow linebacker Brady Poppinga, adding that playing next to Poppinga has helped elevate his game.

"Oh my gosh, it makes my job a lot easier when you have Poppinga right there next to you. He's a great player and I sure love playing next to him. I was happy when they moved him to linebacker; it's been great."

Jensen concluded: "He (Poppinga) teaches me about the mentality and the love of the game. Just seeing somebody as excited as Poppinga is great. He's my roommate before the games, so just sitting there talking to him, I mean, he's a great player."

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