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July 19, 2009Jordan Cameron made a huge splash the first week of fall camp last year. The rangy, athletic receiver looked unstoppable in the red zone, where he dwarfed smaller cornerbacks and out-jumped anyone brave enough to challenge him.
It looked impossible to keep the former basketball star off the field.
Turns out, that wouldn't be the case.
Cameron appeared in six games but didn't make a single catch.
"A week into camp, I sprained my ankle. I just went downhill from there," Cameron said. "The opportunities didn't come. Especially in this program, if you get hurt, the next guy steps in and takes your opportunities. That kind of set me back, and it just seemed to snowball."
The sitting continued during the Trojan basketball season, where Cameron played in just three games and didn't score a single point.
Predictably, he's sick of the bench.
"I need to get myself the opportunity to get on the field, whatever that means and however I can," he said. "I have to get the fades and win the jump balls if that's what they want. Whatever the coaches need from me, I'm going to work my butt off this camp and show my skills."
With that in mind, Cameron came up big in spring camp, throwing his hat into the ring for playing time as the No. 3 receiver. His time playing basketball actually may have helped Cameron become a better, more fluid receiver.
"Basketball shape is different from football shape," Cameron said. "Still, it helps you with your athleticism and the way you move your hips and how you can run and jump. It teaches you to use your body and to be quick off your feet."
With his body feeling 100 percent right, Cameron wanted to make sure his mind was there too this summer.
"My goal was to get in the film room and watch as much film as possible. I wanted to get more familiar with football so I was in there four or five times a week," he said. "I wasn't too familiar with the game, and I needed to get back into it. I've worked on my route running with us throwing so much, and I made sure to work hard in the weight room.