It was spring break of 2016 when Newbury Park, Calif. head football coach Jason Klein received a text message. It was from Cameron Rising, his four-star quarterback. The future Texas commitment wasn’t thinking about the beach or a family vacation. As usual, he was texting about football.
“We give them a week off and Cameron was texting me about defensive alignments and schemes,” Klein recalled. “He loves football. He’s the type of quarterback who calls up his receivers to throw the ball around in their free time. He’s said that if football doesn’t work out, he wants to be a coach.”
Klein first remembers Rising as a freshman leading the scout team against his varsity defense during a playoff run. Klein was Newbury Park’s defensive coordinator at the time when the young quarterback impressed his future head coach.
“His leadership was apparent from an early time,” Klein said. “We pulled him up to help us prepare for the playoffs and he pushed the upperclassmen and commanded a huddle for a young guy. He fit in quickly with the older guys and he struck our staff as a leader.”
Rising would win the position as a sophomore. He finished the season with 3,213 yards passing, throwing 40 touchdowns to just one interception. He added 756 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. It took him only one game to prove his talent to Klein, still a defensive coordinator when Rising was a sophomore.
“Our first game of the year in 2015 was his first start. He rolled out and there was 10 to 15 yards of open running area for him to take, and I was hoping he’d take off and pick up the first down,” Klein said. “Instead, he guns the ball downfield. I thought it was a mistake, but it found our wide receiver in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. He was seeing things on the field as a sophomore that most people can’t see in the moment. We knew he was special.”
The offers started flowing. The 6-2, 209-pound prospect holds more than 20 offers from Power Five programs across the country. He was offered April 19, 2016 by Oklahoma and committed to the Sooners last August, prior to his junior year.
That season was cut short five games in when Rising hurt his shoulder attempting to convert a fourth-and-2 play in the first district game of the season. It was a disappointing end to his junior year. Rising threw for 1,349 yards and 14 touchdowns, adding 390 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
“It was frustrating. Cameron had high hopes for himself and the team entering the season,” Klein said. “He’s such a competitor. He was hurt attempting to make a play. We need to help him find a balance between that competitive aggression and playing smart when he runs the football. The defenders are only going to get bigger and stronger.”
Texas offered Rising on Feb. 7, less than a week after signing day. No one though much of it — Rising was committed to Oklahoma. The Longhorns eventually gained a commitment earlier this month from Casey Thompson, an Oklahoma legacy, and the Rising offer appeared more gesture than intention. That changed on April 22 when Rising flipped his commitment from the Sooners and became Herman’s second four-star quarterback pledge for the 2018 class.
“For Cameron, he wanted a place that gave him that gut feeling you get when something is right,” Klein said. “I think that was the most important thing for him and he said he felt that on his trip to Texas for their spring game. He hasn’t talked too much about the commitment (to Texas). He’s happy with his decision and now the focus is on his future.”
2018 Texas Longhorns signing classHere's a look at the recruits who signed with Texas for the 2018 recruiting cycle. Star rankings from 247Sports composite.
|Byron Hobbs||LB||Ft. Worth Eastern Hills||3||Signed|
|Casey Thompson||QB||Southmoore (Okla.)||4||Signed|
|Cameron Rising||QB||Newbury Park (Calif.)||4||Signed|
|Cameron Dicker||K||Lake Travis||3||Signed|
|Caden Sterns||S||Cibolo Steele||4||Signed|
|Ayodele Adeoye||LB||IMG Academy (Fla.)||4||Signed|
|Al'Vonte Woodard||WR||Houston Lamar||4||Signed|
|Jalen Green||CB||Houston Heights||4||Signed|
|Brennan Eagles||WR||Alief Taylor||4||Signed|
|Anthony Cook||CB||Houston Lamar||4||Signed|
|D'Shawn Jamison||CB||Houston Lamar||4||Signed|
|Malcolm Epps||TE||Spring Dekaney||4||Signed|
|Junior Angilau||OT||Salt Lake East (Utah)||4||Signed|
|Mikey Grandy||OT||College of San Mateo (Calif.)||3||Signed|
|Ryan Bujcevski||P||ProKick Austrailia||N/A||Signed|
|Keondre Coburn||DT||Spring Westfield||4||Signed|
|Daniel Carson||DE||William Chrisman (Mo.)||3||Signed|
|Michael Williams||DE||Dunham School (La.)||3||Signed|
|Christian Jones||OT||Cy Woods||3||Signed|
|Joseph Ossai||DE||Conroe Oak Ridge||4||Signed|