It is fitting that Cameron Denson will go from Tucson Salpointe Catholic to the University of Arizona on a football scholarship in the fall of 2014.
He already knows how to Bear Down.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior wide receiver and defensive back is one of the most passionate athletes you will find, and he has the ability to go with it.
He and his Salpointe teammates will be on display on Aug. 24 when they meet Liberty High of Henderson, Nev., in the second of two games in the annual Sollenberger Classic, which this year will be played at Fertitta Field on the campus of Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas.
In the opener on Aug. 23, Phoenix Mountain Pointe will face host Bishop Gorman.
Salpointe coach Dennis Bene calls Denson “a good kid. He has been here four years. He came in as a young kid and is going out as a mature young man. He has matured in everything, including the classroom. He has definitely taken a leadership role.
“He plays with a lot of passion. Once he gets it going, he is difficult to stop. He has grown into a difference-maker.’’
Denson, who also played a major role for Salpointe’s state-tournament basketball team, is ready for anything.
“I have a passion for the game, especially football. It is something I love to do. I am going to go out there and give it my all, try to make something happen.’’
Denson accounted for more than 2,000 yards as a junior, including 1,026 rushing yards (18 touchdowns) and 37 receptions for 585 yards (two TDs), as well as excelling on kickoff and punt returns. He mainly will be a wide receiver, teaming with transfer Kaelin Deboskie to build a formidable pass-catching tandem.
Denson likely will line up pretty much anywhere and fill a role similar to the one the Arizona Cardinals envision this season for star Larry Fitzgerald, who will line up in several spots in order to get him the ball as much as possible.
“Having me line up inside or out, moving me around a lot. That’s fine with me,’’ Denson said.
“My biggest asset is getting the ball in my hands, doing something with it. I run good routes to get open and once I get the ball, I’d like to think I can create a big play at any given moment.’’
Bene acknowledges that Denson is at his best after the catch, “but he also is a tremendous blocker for a receiver.’’
Denson says he is a “lockdown corner’’ on defense. He had two interceptions last season and sometimes gets frustrated when teams don’t throw in his direction. He knows he has to consider it a measure of respect on the part of opponents.
“I think I get a good break on the ball,’’ he said.
Denson was a big part of Salpointe’s victory over Division I defending state champion Chandler Hamilton at a passing camp in San Diego. Hamilton had defeated the Lancers, a Division II team, in an earlier passing competition.
“That win did a lot for our confidence,’’ Bene said.
The Lancers and Denson are looking forward to the Sollenberger Classic.
“We’ve been practicing for about a week and a half. We’ve been looking pretty good,’’ Denson said. “We need to continue to work on our skills, try to get better.
“We don’t know a lot about the other team (Liberty), but they don’t know a lot about us, either. It’s an important game, but all of our games are important.’’
He also is looking forward to playing for his hometown UofA Wildcats.
“I like a lot of the things that Rich Rod (head coach Rich Rodriguez) is doing. I think I will have a lot of good opportunities,’’ he said.
Just Bear Down.