Wide receiver has been one of the strongest positions for the Wildcats for a number of years now. Before last season, ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg even pointed to the Northwestern wide receiver group as having one of the highest ceilings in the conference.
Cameron Dickerson will be looking to play a part in continuing that tradition this season. The redshirt sophomore out of Bergen Catholic High School in Englewood, N.J. has shown a great deal of promise as he has matured over the past two seasons. Last year he caught nine passes last season for 54 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown grab against Michigan.
At 6'3" and 200 pounds, Dickerson follows the trend on the team of physically imposing wide-outs. This season, the Wildcats will return both Joneses, Rashad Lawrence, and Prater. But the loss of graduating senior Demetrius Fields could open up more room for Dickerson to make an impact.
"Juice Man Cam," as some teammates call him, is full of energy. He spent his redshirt year as a passionate sideline fan of the team, and last year he was certainly excited about bringing that intensity to the field.
He's the type of player who likes to give a little cheeky verbal warning to cornerbacks before the play about what's coming. "I'm about to run by you and score," he'll whisper (to paraphrase).
Kain Colter's offense may be more focused on the option and short outlet passes, but whenever Trevor Siemian steps in under center, the Wildcats tend to look a little further down the field. The Siemian to Dickerson touchdown at Michigan last season showed a lockstep connection between the two that they will need to utilize more this season.
Fans may even recall a remarkable play in last year's spring game in which Dickerson dove to catch a 40-yard touchdown from Siemian, even after losing his shoe in the process. Dickerson is scrappy, but he's also plain fast. He ran a 4.54 40 coming out of high school three years ago.
Pat Fitzgerald has a team full of offensive weapons on his hands. But Dickerson has all the right assets to stand out and be one of the primary options down the field while defenses are focused on Colter and Venric Mark.
As last season drew on, Dickerson became increasingly involved in the offense, and his performance in Ann Arbor proved that he was ready for the spotlight. He has always been an impressive spring practice player, but this could be the year he truly translates that work to the field on gameday.