The Callaway Cavaliers were playing the Carver Tigers late last season when Jeffery Cameron’s leg got stuck in the turf of Memorial Stadium while playing on the punt cover team.
Cameron knew he was hurt, but he was hoping he could stand up and walk the injury off.
That wasn’t happening.
Cameron, the leader of the Cavaliers’ defense the past few years, suffered a severe knee injury, one that put an end to his senior season.
It was a disheartening conclusion to a spectacular career for Cameron.
Fortunately for Cameron, he’s going to get another chance to play the sport he loves.
Cameron, one of six Cavaliers participating in a signing-day ceremony on Wednesday, has signed with Pearl River Community College in Mississippi.
Other Callaway signees include Ricky Parks (Auburn), John O’Neal (Point University), Albert Trammell (Point University) and Devonte Cameron (Tuskegee).
Bo Anderson is going to play for LaGrange College, which doesn’t offer athletic scholarships as a Division III institution.
Cameron has been working hard on his rehabilitation so he’ll be ready to go full-speed when he arrives on the Pearl River campus.
“I’ve been working with our athletic trainer (at Callaway), and she’s been working me really hard,” Cameron said. “I think I’ll be where I need to be when it’s time for me to leave in July.”
Cameron said he can’t wait to get back on the field.
“I’m ready to get out there,” he said. “It’s another chance. I have a chance to come back and become a better player. I know what I have to improve on to be the best.”
Cameron said part of the appeal of Pearl River is the chance to play for linebacker coach Sam Olajubutu, a former standout at LaGrange High and Arkansas.
Olajubutu led the Grangers to a state championship in 2001 before becoming an all-SEC player at Arkansas.
“I look forward to going out there with coach Olajubutu,” Cameron said. “I think I’ll be well-coached up there.”
While Cameron is going a long way from home, three Cavaliers will be staying in their back yard.
O’Neal, a wide receiver, and Trammell, a linebacker, have each signed with Point University in West Point, which will field its first varsity football team this fall.
Point played a seven-game club schedule last season.
“I’m very excited about it. I’m ready to get to work,” Trammell said.
Added O’Neal: “I’m looking forward to it a lot. On the visit, they made us feel like home.”
Also staying at home is Anderson, a wide receiver.
Anderson will be a part of a LaGrange College team making its debut in the USA South conference.
“I’m excited about everything,” Anderson said. “It’s another chance to play.”
Devonte Cameron is looking forward to going to a tradition-rich school like Tuskegee.
Cameron, calling Tuskegee a “historic place,” visited the Alabama school and felt at home.
“I liked the environment. I liked the coaching staff,” Cameron said. “I feel comfortable there. I just decided it’s the place to go. I’m very excited. I worked hard to achieve my goals.”
Callaway’s six college-bound players sat side-by-side Wednesday, posing for photos, answering questions.
Head coach Pete Wiggins said he wanted to make it a special day for a group of players who have meant so much to the program.
“We want to make it as big a thing as we can for the kids, and for their families,” Wiggins said. “Today was probably the biggest signing class we’ve had. We still have a couple more that will sign. I’m just proud for these young men and their families.”
Trammell said the players were glad to be able to share the moment with each other.
“It’s special,” he said. “Six players off our team signed today. It makes me feel good with them being my brothers. Everybody’s going to a good school, and they’re going to play ball.”