When it comes to football recruiting, the distances coaches must travel to visit players can be pretty overwhelming. It's nothing for them to trek from coast to coast, especially for a school that recruits nationally like Michigan. That's why it is always nice when a recruit is right down the street, sometimes literally.
Ann Arbor Pioneer High School is a popular tailgating spot for Michigan football fans because it is kitty-corner to Michigan Stadium. It is also home to one of the area's top prospects in tight end Cameron Joplin. The 6-foot-5, 247 pound athlete was used primarily as a blocker for the Pioneers, but he still tallied 19 catches and four touchdowns last season.
The Ann Arbor native sees himself as a versatile player that can do more than just block. That said, he knows there are areas of his game that must be improved upon. "I'm a great blocker, I'm a natural pass catcher," Joplin told GoBlueWolverine. "I have great hands. I’d like to improve everything; speed, quickness, and I'm focusing on getting stronger. That's my main goal right now.
Joplin's proximity to Michigan makes it very easy for him to make it over to campus for a visit. Recently he too advantage of an opportunity to take in a spring practice.
"It was great, just to watch them hit," he said. "The one I went to they had full pads and it was nice to see them get after each other like that. It was pretty amazing.”
Joplin indicated that he will be traveling to more spring practices during his school's spring break. "I'm pretty sure I'll be able to go to Indiana's, Northwestern's, and Illinois," he said. "I might go down to Kentucky too. I'm not sure about that yet. I'll be at the Nike Camp in Columbus and I'll probably do some one day camps. I'm pretty sure I'll be at Michigan’s (summer camp) because they want to see me block and run."
Currently Joplin holds offers from Northwestern, Kentucky and Eastern Michigan but he expects some more to come very soon. “Indiana says they would offer," said Joplin. "Illinois, they want to see me run…same with Michigan and Michigan State. Basically they just want to see if I can run under a five (second forty yard dash.)" Currently, Joplin puts his 40 time anywhere between a 4.85 to 4.95.
Joplin doesn’t claim a leader yet but will surely keep his eyes on two instate schools if they were to offer. "I don't have a favorite school but I will say I did grow up watching Michigan and, Michigan State as well. I grew up primarily watching Michigan though.”
With his spring and summer plans firmly in place, Joplin hopes to earn a few more offers during that period so he can make an early decision.
"It will probably be before the season starts like in July or August," Joplin said regarding when he'd like to choose a school. "Academics will be a big thing. I also think you should have a good relationship with your position coach because you will be working with him for the next four or five years."
Joplin is being recruited mainly by Coach Mike Debord, Michigan’s new offensive coordinator and tight end coach. "He's pretty cool," commented Joplin. "I like him a lot."