Article by: Eric-Paul Johnson, The Press-Enterprise
1-5-2018 – Corona – Camron Pitcher has a response for anyone who doubts whether he can be a successful linebacker at a Division I college.
“Just watch the film,” Pitcher says confidently.
Pitcher might not pass the “eye test” when it comes to measurables (6-foot, 220 pounds), but there can be no denying what he did on the field against top competition. Pitcher led Centennial’s defense in tackles, averaging a shade under 10 per game, and he registered seven sacks from his middle linebacker spot.
Those numbers would have been much higher, but Pitcher exited early in nine games that ended with a running clock in effect during the final quarter.
Centennial employed an aggressive scheme on defense this season, and Pitcher was the unit’s unquestioned leader out on the field. The Huskies defense stymied the two teams that played for the CIF State Division 1A title — Pittsburg and Harbor City Narbonne — and Pitcher was in top form in the team’s only losses, against nationally ranked foes IMG Academy of Florida and Bellflower St. John Bosco.
For that, Pitcher is this year’s HSGameTime defensive football player of the year.
Centennial coach Matt Logan didn’t hesitate to give Pitcher his first varsity start when the Huskies played Concord De La Salle for the Open Division state championship in 2015. Logan and longtime defensive coordinator Dan Herring needed sure tacklers to go up against De La Salle’s prolific rushing attack. Pitcher handled the challenge successfully and tied for the game high with 16 tackles.
That performance cemented Logan’s belief he had his defensive leader for two seasons and a player who eventually would join the ranks of the program’s greatest linebackers, a group that is headed by the Cincinnati Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict.
Despite his efforts over the past few years, Pitcher is still awaiting his first offer from a Division I FBS program. Logan scoffs at coaches and analysts who dismiss Pitcher because he’s not 6-foot-3 or 240 pounds.
“If I were to ever be a college coach, I would be fired because I would have the smallest team on the field,” Logan said with a laugh. “I don’t care how big someone is. You either can play with the best or you can’t. And we all know that Camron can play with the best.
“He is a phenomenal player, a phenomenal student and a phenomenal leader. He is the kind of player you dream about as a coach. Everything happens for a reason, and there must be a reason for this. Something big is going to come his way. And the coach that gives him that opportunity won’t regret it.”
Pitcher said he sometimes plays with a chip on his shoulder, but he is going to remain patient in the days leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
“I’m just trying to get my film out there to everyone I can,” he said. “Film doesn’t lie, and I think my play speaks for itself.”