Brentaro Yamane | Staff Writer
Feb. 11, 2021
It’s a common refrain: Children watch an NFL game on television and suddenly think to themselves, “I want to play football.”
Montour High School senior Cameron McLaurin was one of those little kids wanting to play football after watching the first game that he could remember. He fell in love with the game, and he started playing football at the tender age of 8-years-old.
He’s grown even more attached to the game since then.
“I started playing when I was 8-years-old because I loved to watch football on TV and I fell in love with the game after that,” McLaurin said.
Given the fact he’s played football for over 10 years by now and has continued to work hard, it eventually led others to believe he could have the ability to play football at the college level.
“Since I played middle school football, I have always thought about playing Division I football. It is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and I kept working to achieve that goal,” he said.
Luckily for McLaurin, his dreams of playing Division I football are coming true.
He has started on both the offensive and defensive lines for Montour for three straight seasons (2018-20), but he was not getting much attention earlier on in his high school career.
In April, following his junior year at Montour, McLaurin received his first Division I offer from St. Francis (Pa.). He also had offers from James Madison and Dayton. However, when Duquesne offered McLaurin this past October, little did the Duquesne football coaching staff know that he would eventually choose their program.
“The combination of amazing academics and great football made them stand out for me,” said McLaurin, who plans on majoring in finance. “What made me choose Duquesne was the opportunity to go play great football and get a degree that will help me in the future.”
Current Duquesne offensive lineman Roman Macek played high school football at Montour and is close with McLaurin. When he asked Macek for more information about Duquesne’s football program, McLaurin liked what he heard.
“I asked Roman what the atmosphere of the team was like, and he told me that he loved it and that it was electric. He said that he loves being there and wouldn’t change his decision to go there. He always tells me how great of a school it is,” McLaurin said.
McLaurin is a two-time WPIAL 4-A All-Conference First Team selection on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. In his senior season at Montour in 2020, he recorded 45 tackles with 13 of those for loss. He signed his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 3, officially making him a Duke.
While McLaurin played two positions in high school, he will only play one position at the collegiate level: Offensive line. Duquesne’s coaches liked what they saw from him on the O-line, but he knows there is room for improvement in his style of play.
“My strengths are my hand placement and my first two steps off the ball. Some things I need to improve on are my pass protection and keeping my weight distributed on my feet,” McLaurin said.
For McLaurin, he is focused on finishing the rest of his senior year of high school as he will graduate in June. But, once he graduates from Montour, all he will be focusing on is providing an impact for Duquesne’s football team.
“I am very excited to get to Duquesne, to compete, and to get to know my teammates,” McLaurin said. “I’m looking forward to the college atmosphere and playing football at a higher level.”