He's a jack of all trades - one of the best punt returners in the conference, a wide receiver, a sometime quarterback, and almost a corner. Finding his way on to the field as a true freshman, Cameron Echols-Luper came to the Frogs from Alabama, as the number seven ranked wide receiver in the state. A former high school quarterback, CEL passed for over 1,000 yards and rushed for nearly 900 more as a senior, but projected as a wide receiver at the next level.
Despite overtures from several SEC schools and a host of other Power 5 programs, Echols-Luper chose to matriculate to TCU, possibly partially do to the installation of his dad, Curtis Luper, as wide receiver's coach (though it is worth noting that Luper is a well-respected coach and has done an amazing job with the Frog wideouts since his hire). Once Cam arrived on campus, he was quick to find his niche on special teams, where he was named a second team freshman All-American after averaging 13.5 yards per return, making four receptions, and completing two passes in two attempts for 60 yards and a score.
As a sophomore, CEL improved on his solid freshman campaign, making the All-Big 2 team as an honorable mention as a return specialist and scoring the go-ahead touchdown against Kansas on a 69 yard punt return in the third quarter of that closely contested game. An explosive athlete outright, CEL has gotten it done in the spring as well, as a member of TCU's track and field team. An All-American who was a part of the Frog's record setting 4x100 team, CEL has medaled in the 4x100m, 200m, and long jump.
With the return specialist job all but locked up as he enters his junior year, the Auburn native is hoping to get more involved on offense this fall. After Gary Patterson toyed with moving him to corner this spring, it appears he will stay at WR, likely as Ty Slanina's backup in the slot - but don't rule out a return to defense if TCU is able to get the receivers healthy sooner rather than later.
One of the guys who tries to put the lock on CEL and others daily in practice is sophomore safety Steve Wesley out of Arlington Bowie High. After redshirting in 2013, Wesley saw action in two non-conference games last fall, but did not record a stat. Currently the third string safety - behind senior Derrick Kindred and fellow sophomore Nick Orr at the strong safety spot, the former three star prospect has had the chance to take a lot of snaps this fall, with the guys ahead of him dinged up a bit and Orr rotating some between corner and safety.
I'm going to do something I haven't done in these previews yet... make a call. Cameron Echols-Luper has a huge return, putting TCU in the red zone, in the third quarter that opens up what had been a very tight contest 15 days from now. What do you say, CEL? Can you make the Minnesota night shine for us?