'I want to be the next Mike Patterson'

Cameron Wagner (OL/DL, South Panola, MS) - Quick trivia, who is the only rising senior to make All-State by the Clarion Ledger as a sophomore?

Your answer would be Cameron Wagner, the starting left guard for the 4 - Peat Champions. He also made All-State (2nd Team) again as a junior by the Clarion Ledger and was a 1st Team All-State selection by the Coaches Association.

You might be thinking to yourself, this talented youngster is going to be one of the more highly recruited prospects in Mississippi this year, right? Wrong.


"The height issue (5' 11", 315) has been a struggle for me because that is all they look at, my height," added Cameron Wagner.

Wagner got his first taste at how much emphasis colleges put on a prospect's height at the Michigan camp last summer.

"They were kind of biased at first, but when they saw I had quick feet and had some moves, they started recognizing me."

But it was not until the strength competition drills at Michigan did the Wolverine coaches take notice.

"We had a competition where you lifted 225 pounds as many times as you could. I did it 23 times as a sophomore, which was best out of all of the players there. They had a couple of their senior OL/DL commits there too, and I beat them all."

The ideal offensive lineman is taller than a defensive lineman, so the the Michigan staff decided to put Cameron on the defensive line to see if he could handle it.

"They put me against this 6' 6", 315 pound guy from Pittsburgh. I put a swim move against him and got right around him. He congratulated me. He committed to Michigan and gave me his phone number. We still talk to this day. He told me I could play on the next level."

Just for good measure, Michigan put him on the offensive line and pitted him against their top defensive tackle recruit at the camp.

"They had their top DL recruit going against me, and he could not get around me either. I did this punch move, and he told me I was short but I could block."

The bottom line is that although Cameron lacks your ideal height, he just wants a chance.

"I just want them (college recruiters) to look at what I can do on the field and not my height."

What Wagner lacks in height, he more than makes up for it in his strength.

"I placed 3rd in State in powerlifting as a sophomore. I squatted 680 pounds last year in the meet, but I want to get that up to 730 this year. I know I can do it. I was benching 375, and that was a little too easy, so I tried 450. I did not get it, but I am going to lift 450 in this year's meet."

Cameron played fullback and tight end as a freshman and then was moved to left tackle when Ole Miss recruit, Chris Strong, got hurt. Cameron was South Panola's only player named as 1st Team All-Region pick.

His sophomore year Cameron moved to left guard and has stayed at that position for the last two years. During that time span, he has been named 1st Team All-State (coaches) in Class 5A both seasons and 2nd Team All-State by the Clarion Ledger for all classifications.

Due to the importance that coaches put in a player's height for an offensive lineman, he has hopes of playing nose guard and fullback his senior season.

"I had a good talk with Coach Woods about it after the season was over. We both know that I am fighting an uphill battle at getting a scholarship if I stay at offensive guard, so he is going to let me play nose tackle and some fullback next year. I was timed at 5.1 in the forty at Michigan's camp, which is plenty good enough to play at nose guard, but my goal is to get my weight down to 300 and get my forty time down to 4.9 before the start of my senior year. I know Mike Patterson for USC is my height (5' 11") and look at what he is doing for the Eagles at defensive tackle now. I want to be the next Mike Patterson."

What are Cameron's strengths on the football field?

"I am one of those type people that likes to hit anyway. That is why Coach Woods put me at FB and pulling guard. In (Class) 5A they like to put those quick DE's against you. I try to knock them out of the way so our backs can run through the hole."

Which camps does Wagner plan to attend this summer?

"My cousin, Dominique Dinkins, plays for the Cleveland Browns. He has a camp up there that I always go to. I will go back to Michigan, and I plan on going to the Ohio State camp. My father is from that area, so I like to go up there as much as possible. I will also go to some local camps like Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Alabama."

Which colleges are showing Wagner the most interest?

"Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee, and Michigan."

Cameron carries a 2.9 Core GPA and will take the ACT for the first time in February.

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