In this Q&A, he weighs in on how much he enjoys recruiting for LSU, the reception he gets when he visits schools and the importance of these evaluations for finding a quarterback. He also reflects on the recruitment of Brandon Harris, the first QB he signed at LSU, and which members of that 2014 class can have an immediate impact.
Cam: "To some degree in life, you're always recruiting. I've been married for 28 years, and I'm still recruiting my wife. There's no better joy I get than recruiting for LSU. You walk in a school, and everybody takes notice. Every kid's eyes light up. Every airport you walk through, every gate I go by, it's ‘Geaux Tigers.' It's a joy to recruit for LSU."
Q: LSU's had so much success in recruiting, particularly with the Class of 2014. Do you notice that having an effect on some of the kids you're recruiting now?
Cam: "LSU has a great recruiting history. As many guys as we have going to the next level, that will get drafted [this weekend], kids know that. Kids like that about LSU. They like our style. They like Coach Miles' philosophy that young guys are going to play early. That plays into recruiting. You can't guarantee a guy's going to play, but if he knows he's given the opportunity and he's got confidence in his ability, the track record speaks for itself."
"The thing I've learned since being here is our better players are juniors and sophomores, and they expect young guys to come help them play. They're not afraid of young guys coming and playing with them. That's unique. Sometimes guys are afraid of young guys taking their position, but here I don't sense that. I sense guys like the competition and they know we're going to need everybody to win a championship."
Q: How important is this evaluation period for you, particularly when it comes to finding a quarterback?
Cam: "Film can tell you part of the story, but until you see them live throw, live run, the video doesn't translate. You have to go in and really put your eyes on them, talk to people that have played against them, do all your research, look at his growth potential. For QBs, you have to see the ball come out of his hand. You've got to watch him and check his explosion, watch him work in drills and practice. Those kinds of things are critical."
Cam: "This time a year ago, Brandon Harris didn't have an offer. It was one of the places they wanted me to go. He was the first quarterback I saw in-state. I had a chance to compare him with everyone in the country, and he went from our in-state board to the top of our national board. We really were thrilled to get him."
"I had a good grade on him, a video evaluation on him. I knew what I liked and what I needed to see. They had a preexisting board of rankings when I got here, so I wanted to go look at everybody on the board. We wound up offering three quarterbacks last year, and we ranked them A, B, C. That ranking came after I saw Brandon Harris practice, play live, and he was at the top of our board. When you have a shot at your top guy, you're not going to take No. 2 or No. 3 knowing you can get No. 1. That's the way it played out."
Q: Without naming any names, have there been any quarterbacks you've seen these last couple weeks that have had that same kind of effect on you?
Cam: "Absolutely. There's so much exposure with these QBs today at every grade level. You get a chance to watch them and go see them. Sometimes you get to see them play live in the spring, and during bye weeks we can go on the road and watch them play on Friday night. All those evaluations are critical because there's nothing like watching a guy play in person."
Q: Are there any guys from that 2014 class — not named Brandon, Leonard or Malachi — that you can see coming in and having an immediate impact?
Cam: "We only had two on campus, and only one on offense. So it would be premature to put anybody's name in there over somebody else until we get them here. It'll be a good question a couple months from now, but I will say this — I can't think of any guy that we're saying is going to redshirt. So knowing that, every guy is going to have some form of an impact. It will just be a matter of whether they can handle the volume of work and stay healthy, then see how fast they grow. The guys that grow and improve fastest will probably be the guys that help us the most."