Where Cameron Saddler was once projected as a cover corner, the 5-foot-6, 160-pound dynamo from Gateway is now being recruiting primarily for offense.
“My sophomore year, my whole mindset was DB. I was Mr. DB,” Saddler said. “Offense wasn’t my thing at all. This year, I had a breakout year on offense. At these camps, I’ve been playing receiver. Schools talk about me playing receiver, putting me in motion, playing out of the backfield – any way they can get the ball in my hands.”
Only West Virginia and Syracuse are still pursuing Saddler as a defensive back. Everyone else wants Saddler as an all-purpose and return specialist.
Saddler has trimmed his list of 17 scholarship offers to 10 finalists: Syracuse, Virginia, Akron, Michigan, Kentucky, Colorado, Michigan State, Louisville, Oregon and West Virginia.
“In no particular order,” Saddler said.
Virginia appears to be the leader, as the Cavaliers are recruiting Saddler the hardest. Every member of UVa’s staff send Saddler a handwritten letter and the coaches followed him around at the Nike Training Camp.
Pitt coaches did the same, but the Panthers have since backed off Saddler because of a commitment from the similarly built and skilled Antwuan Reed of Johnstown.
Saddler said Syracuse “is coming on real strong lately” and Akron’s aggressiveness has made the Zips a player in his recruitment, as well.
Saddler is very tight with Gateway star linebacker Shayne Hale, and the close friends are still considering going to school together. Talk of them going as a package deal, however, will be limited to Michigan, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia.
If they don’t end up going to school together, it won’t adversely affect Saddler’s recruitment. He’s already proven good things come in small packages.