This is the second in a series of Q&A's with Bi-City recruits in the Class of 2016. For the complete Q&A, go to ledger-enquirer.com/valley-preps. Coming Wednesday: Central’s Jamal Couch.
Shaw wide receiver Cam Paulding is one of those better-late-than-never prospects.
Entering his senior year, he has just one football season under his belt, during which he caught 23 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns. While the numbers may not jump off of the page yet, his size does. He received enough attention to be invited to last year’s Elite Junior Classic at McEachern High.
At 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, he towers over defenders and spurs a debate about whether he should play wide receiver at the next level or whether, if he packs on some pounds in muscle, he might be a better fit at tight end.
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Paulding took some time to speak with the Ledger-Enquirer about that size advantage and how much that is translating to Division-I attention in recruiting.
You are entering just your second season ever of playing football. How did that affect you last year, and how have you been able to start to get some college attention anyway?
I started out slow, but during the spring I came out and did pretty well. Last year, it took a couple games for me to settle in and then some of that recruitment started to come a little bit.
What made you decide to start playing football after focusing on basketball up until your junior year?
Well, at first I was just doing football to get ready for basketball season. But as I got deepening into football and started seeing all of the recruiting coaches come in, I started to enjoy football and being a part of the team. And I knew football would get me faster and stronger.
Who have you heard from?
I’ve heard from Georgia State and I went up to Georgia for their G-Day game and I’ve heard from USF and Cincinnati.
What have they told you, getting into the sport, about your development?
Some schools say I should build up some more weight so I can play tight end, and others have said I can play wide receiver because of my height. They like my ability to catch and to go up for the jump ball.
How much more comfortable are you this year versus this time last year when you first started.
Very. Very comfortable. I got used to the team. We’ve become closer together, and we’ve got good chemistry. We can be pretty good this year.
Individually, what are you trying to do to try and get yourself noticed a little bit more as you go forward?
Work harder. Make myself better. Hopefully that will help me get my first offer.
What’s the key? Is it technique or weight training, or a combination of both?
I think it’s both technique and weight training. I do have to work a lot on my technique. Weight training, it’ll come because we do that a lot here. So, I guess, it’s mainly just improving my technique and getting better there.
David Mitchell, Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.