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USU football: local wide receiver not changing his approach despite scholarship

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 24 2012 4:47 p.m. MDT

By Megan Allen, USU Athletic Media Relations

Regardless of a player’s status on a football team, he is expected to put in countless hours of hard work and effort. By the time a student-athlete is in his senior season, he has established himself and tried to prove he is worth the coaches’ attention.

In the case of Utah State senior wide receiver Cameron Webb, that dedication proved to be worth it in a team meeting at the two-week mark of the fall camp. In a typical Friday meeting, head coach Gary Andersen announced to an unsuspecting Webb and the rest of the team, that he and another player had both been awarded athletic scholarships.

As a transfer walk-on from Snow College, this announcement came as a shock, but a pleasant one.

“It felt good, just showing that all that hard work was paying off,” Webb said.

The decision to provide Webb with financial assistance came after he broke out of his shell, having a successful few weeks of camp. After seeing action in seven games as a junior, he has worked his way up the Aggie depth chart.

In a mid-week scrimmage during fall camp, Webb showed Aggie fans what coach Andersen already knew as recorded eight catches for 101 yards, leaving an impression on all those around.

Wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight said Webb has truly earned the honor of a scholarship.

“He’s put his time in and has paid his dues. He’s been grinding ever since he got here,” Bouknight said. “He didn’t get to play much last season, but this is going to be his year. He’s making the best of it. He’s impressed the coaches with every opportunity he has had at practice.”

Even with the added support, Webb said he doesn’t feel any added pressure to perform just yet.

“Honestly, nothing has really changed. It doesn’t make me a different person,” Webb said. “If I didn’t have the scholarship, I’d be just the same. It just feels good.”

Two years ago, if you had asked Webb his plans, football would not have been a part of it.

After one season at Snow College, Webb left to serve a two-year LDS Church Mission in the Philippines. Upon his return, he finished his junior college career but expected that to be it. However, after a year at Utah State, his mind was changed, and he walked on to the progressing Aggie team.

“I came back and worked really hard for a year,” Webb said. “I’m just glad to see it all paying off.”

Bouknight said the biggest strength in Webb’s game is his intelligence and understanding of the game and his position.

“He was a very strong, intelligent receiver from the get-go, from the very first moment he walked on the field,” Bouknight said. “He knows how to get open in the zones; he knows how to find the windows. He’s a great catcher in space, and he can do things with the ball. He’s going to be a great receiver for us this year. His intelligence and understanding of football is his biggest strength. He understands the zone, the windows, where he should be and the chemistry with the quarterback.”

A product of local Mountain Crest High School, Webb has always wanted to be a part of the football program at Utah State.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do, since I was little coming to watch these games,” Webb said. “Growing up, Utah State wasn’t the best, but I always stuck with them. Now that things are going well, it’s great to be a part of the team.”

Webb is quick to say that playing football is far from an easy task.

“Playing Division I football is probably one of the hardest things anyone could ever do,” Webb said. “With all the meetings, all the stress it puts on your body, with the practices and the plays you have to learn.”

Webb’s future goals include the possibility of becoming a part of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), another task that will take a lot of hard work and dedication.

Luckily, Webb thinks the training and lessons he has learned through football will continue to be beneficial.

“Football makes you become more of a man,” Webb said. “I think I’ll be able to accomplish any task or job I may have, just because of the work ethic I learned here and playing football.”

With the collective team goal of securing the Western Athletic Conference title and winning a bowl game, Webb is ready to step up and do his part as a scholarship player.

“I just want to make plays when my number is called. I’m going to do whatever the coaches want me to do,” Webb said. “We strive to be perfect every day. It’s mostly a mental thing. We’ve got the talent on the team; we just need to take it one day, one week at a time.”

In the end, Webb pins down his success and his drive to a simple mantra.

“Work hard,” he said. “It will get you what you want.”

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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