The Browns selected Southern California tight end Jordan Cameron today with their first pick of the fourth round (102nd overall). Cameron had only one career start at USC. Last season, he caught 16 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown.
The 6-foot-5, 244-pound Cameron went to Brigham Young University to play basketball, but he redshirted during the 2006-07 season. He later committed to play football for USC, though many of the credits he received at BYU would not transfer. As a result, he went to Ventura College in California. He played football there for a season and caught 22 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns.
Cameron arrived at USC in June 2008 and received limited playing time during his first two seasons. He appeared in 11 games as a reserve wide receiver.
Cameron became friends with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin while playing pickup basketball. The two made an online video (see below) to market Cameron during the predraft process.
After he was drafted, Cameron held a conference call with local reporters. Here is a transcript from the question-and-answer session:
Browns tight end Jordan Cameron conference call 4-30-11
(On the type of football player he is) -- “I will be a good football player for you guys. I am excited about this. This is awesome.”
(On his video with Blake Griffin) -- “We are good family friends. We played pickup basketball in the summer. We had this idea of showcasing my athleticism a little bit and getting my name out there and kind of market myself. It kind of evolved into this little skit with my agent being involved with it. It turned out pretty well.”
(On what he will be able to bring to the Browns) -- “I am pretty athletic. I can move pretty well and I have a lot of improvement to do, but I am willing to learn. I am excited to embrace this process as a tight end and get really into football and really serious about this with good coaching. I can create some mismatches with my athletic ability and stretch the field a little bit.”
(On wanting to play in the NBA and giving up basketball) -- “It really wasn’t my dream to play in the NBA. I always loved playing football as a kid. I wanted to play both sports in college and it just worked out that basketball was there for me at that time and then I had an opportunity to play under coach (Pete) Carroll at USC and I took advantage of that.”
(On if he is scratching the surface of his football ability) -- “Yes, sir. I feel like I’m a tip of the iceberg guy and I’ve got a lot to learn but like I said, I’m willing to do so and I’m excited about my future in this league.”
(On BYU being his best option coming out of high school) -- “Yes, ma’am. At that time, I was a smaller guy. I didn’t weigh too much. I was a late bloomer. I didn’t have too many looks in football at all and I was playing basketball and they had that offer on the table. Like I said, when I had the opportunity to play for S.C., I took advantage of that.”
(On credits from BYU not transferring and enrolling at Ventura Junior College) -- “At BYU, you take so many religion classes. It’s a private school with a lot of religion classes. It’s an LDS school so they didn’t transfer straight to S.C. so I had to get my AA degree in a year.”
(On how big he is and how big he can get) -- “Right now, I’m like 6-5, 250. I can add some weight. I’ve got a skinny frame. I can get up to 260 and still be able to move pretty well.”
(On if he is surprised that the Browns found him after a short football career) -- “Not at all. I think people are a good judge of talent and see that I have the athletic ability to make a difference at this next level with coaching. Like you guys are talking about, I have limited experience in the football aspect of things so they can help me with that and they can kind of see what I can be able to do in the short future.”
(On if he came to Ohio for a visit) -- “I did not.”
(On if he has talked to Mike Holmgren) -- “I just talked to him on the phone about 20 minutes ago.”
(On if he had talked to Holmgren before then) -- “No sir.”
(On who he talked to from the Browns before the draft) -- “I talked to a regional scout at the combine and that was it. It was a short, 10 minute interview just getting my background information, kind of what they do with all the players that they talk to.”
(On if his basketball skills can translate to football) -- “I think they definitely translate. At the tight end position, they like to use hybrid, tight end-basketball guys. It’s moving in space and in basketball, you do a lot of that. You’re in space, you have body control jumping for balls and moving laterally. I think the sport definitely transitions well into football.”