Echols-Luper Has Big Weekend Ahead

The Texas A&M commit will have mixed feelings on Saturday when the Aggies visit his hometown to face the Auburn Tigers and his dad who is the running backs coach. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop spoke to the four-star athlete who plans to play wide receiver for the Aggies.

On Friday, Auburn High School faces Opelika High. For Auburn's quarterback Cameron Echols-Luper, the mission is clear. Beat your hated rival and in the process get a step closer to a state playoff run. If life was always that easy. But after Friday's showdown, Echols-Luper has a very interesting Saturday when Texas A&M visits Auburn University for the first time in history as SEC west rivals. Usually, it's an easy proposition when the hometown college is in action. Add in the fact that Echols-Luper's stepdad Curtis Luper in the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn and you figure he'll be cheering for the Tigers like he's been doing the past three years. However, there's a big complication this Saturday. Echols-Luper will be playing his college football at Texas A&M where he committed this past summer.

"When we came to Auburn, I told my dad that I'd like to eventually get back to Texas and play my college football closer to my extended family where I grew up," Echols-Luper said. "I like the staff at Auburn and I'm close with the coaches there, but they knew from the start my plan and have been very understanding."

So when the Aggies take the field against the Tigers on Saturday, he'll be torn between rooting for his future Texas A&M teammates and a coaching staff and program he respects and hopes will turn their fortunes around the rest of the season.

"Auburn will be back strong. I have no doubt about that," Echols-Luper said. "They have a great coaching staff and they will get this turned around. There's a lot of talent, but they are very young right now."

The big question is whether he'll be wearing Navy blue and orange, or maroon and white?

"I don't know what I'm going to wear," Echols-Luper said. "It's going to be tough with my dad at Auburn and the relationships I have with the staff, but my brothers will be on the other sideline. It will definitely be a strange day for me."

Echols-Luper has been battling several nagging injuries during this season. In September, he separated his non-throwing shoulder. He's recovered from that, but a couple of weeks ago he thought he sprained his ankle, but he recently found out it was something more.

"I'm 100% recovered from the shoulder. That's not even a factor," Echols-Luper said. "I thought I sprained my ankle, but I found out I have a slight chip in the bone. It will be fine. You have to play through the pain this time of year. You have to be there for your teammates."

The 6-foot, 195-pound quarterback, who will likely start his collegiate career at wide receiver, has been watching his future team on television and he likes what he sees so far.

"I had a chance to watch the Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech games on TV," Echols-Luper said. "I like what I see with the offense. Johnny Manziel is something special and the team plays with so much heart and emotion. Their offense reminds me of Auburn's offense when they won the national championship with Cam Newton."

Asked if colleges are still trying to pry him away from his Texas A&M commitment and if he plans to take any additional official visits, Echols-Luper indicated he's getting help from his high school coach with the process.

"I honestly don't know if colleges are still trying to recruit me," Echols-Luper said. "I told my coach not to tell me about any inquiries. I want to focus on my senior season and winning a state championship and I don't want any distractions. Plus, I'm 110% committed to Texas A&M. I'm already part of the Aggie family."

Echols-Luper plans to return to Texas as soon as he graduates from Auburn High school and will be in College Station to workout with his teammates and taking classes in the first summer session.

"The A&M coaches told me to be ready to compete and we'll see what happens next fall," Echols-Luper said. "What I do know is I plan to work my butt off when I get there."

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