Illinois still in the picture for Mammen

While the postseason accolades continue to roll in for Urbana (Ill.) High School senior football player Cameron Mammen, so does attention from college coaches

Named to various all-state teams already for his stellar senior season, Urbana head coach Nathan Watson said Mammen would like to make a college decision by early January.

Illinois is still in play for Mammen, who would likely line up either at wide receiver or defensive back if he lands at Illinois after a superb high school career at quarterback.

"They're looking at Cam as a defensive back or a slot receiver," Watson said. "I think Cameron's best spot in college is at a slot receiver, and the reason Illinois is potentially a really good fit for Cam is because he was probably our best wide receiver on our team. He just happened to play quarterback for us."

Mammen threw for 1,790 yards and 15 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions this season for the Tigers, who finished 9-2 and won the school's first-ever playoff game. He also rushed for 1,218 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards a carry.

Illinois — which is up to 23 commits for the Class of 2013 — has not offered Mammen a scholarship yet, Watson said, but in talking with Illinois recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh, the Illini are aware of Mammen.

"I still think Illinois is an option for Cameron," Watson said. "I know they want him to play there, it's just a matter of how much (of a scholarship) they're going to give him. I think he could walk on there if he wants, or there's the opportunity for a partial (scholarship) or a full ride."

Mammen is currently competing with the Urbana wrestling team, where he has the top ranking in Class 2A at 170 pounds, according to Illinois Best Weekly. But the only sport he'll play in college is football.

Mammen went on unofficial visits to Illinois for the squad's final two home games, turning down a chance to visit Eastern Illinois, one of several in-state schools, including Illinois State and Western Illinois, that have indicated an interest in Mammen possibly playing quarterback at that school.

"Cam's going to end up somewhere, but he's got to look at all his options at all levels and see who's going to give him the most financial assistance," Watson said. "Illinois is the most prestigious school speaking with Cam, and I know Cam is a huge Illinois fan. He'd like to go there."

Aside from Mammen, Watson said other Urbana seniors, including middle linebacker Josh Pratt, defensive tackle Mikshadd Townsend, tight end Devon Williams and offensive lineman Tanner Laznik have all attracted interest from several Division II, Division III and NAIA programs.

"The amount of college coaches that have been calling me and emailing me is almost overwhelming. I almost need a secretary," Watson said with a laugh. "It's a fun busy, though. This is why we've done all this work for the last four years is to get these guys in college."

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CecilColeman wrote on December 04, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Just what we need.......a 170 pound QB from Central Illinois.

Where's The Cheef wrote on December 05, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Cecil, my first comment is (and please say this with me)...He...is..not...being...recruited...as...a...QB.  Secondly, after watching him play in person this year, he plays at 190+.  After a red-shirt season of full strength and conditioning, we would easily be the size of many D1 players at the position he is actually being recruited for.  As an Urbana alum, I would be proud to see the U of I look in the own back yard to make an offer.  I believe the Illini certainly made the correct choice when they stayed local to acquire Leman and LeShoure.  Regardless, it doesn't much matter who they recruit for skilled positions, as it won't matter how skilled they are if the Illini don;t shore up the trenches.  As far as looking out of state, how well has that paid off for the Illini the passed two season?  I could go on and find hundreds of so-called 5 star recruits all over the country.  The problem is they don't measure the heart or character of any of them.  I get it, the economy forces coaches to utilize the resources out there.  The problem is if you want to pay for a star, that's how you earn them regardless of your actual game ability.  Let me use Auburn, Texas and USC as just a few examples.  Each has won a title in the last few years, all with supposed 5 start talent.  Texas and Auburn pretty much won with a single player.  Now, what's changed?  Nothing, except for the fact the start rating system has become more of a joke.  Oklahoma goes out of state for most of their players.  As they have found, the heart of someone who grew up rooting for and understanding the deep tradition of a local school isn't the same as the out-of-state player.  So, many transfer after a year, cannot stay eligible or do something foolish to get booted.  Hoepfully the U of I won't share your approach and will actually consider the person Cam is rather than what a stat sheet shows.  If they do, they won't be disappointed.

illinigator wrote on December 04, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Please come to Florida and at least try to recruit.  There is some pretty good players in central and nothern Florida who haven't commited yet.

CecilColeman wrote on December 05, 2012 at 8:12 am

And in Texas. And in California. And in Ohio, Georgia, etc etc.

tonyjb37 wrote on December 06, 2012 at 8:12 am
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First and foremost we need to stop recruiting Illinois kids that can't play the game of football as evidenced by this past season which mind you I will never get over because it is the worst I have ever seen here! The way to win football games is to go and recruit where the Big Boys play, TEXAS! Plain and simple. Some one famous once said "Winning isn't everything its the Only thing" words to live by or die by. For this program, to die by.  

Champ Townie wrote on December 06, 2012 at 10:12 am

Illinois cannot give a partial football scholarship to Mammen. FBS schools are only allowed to give full scholarships for football.  I am surprised his high school coach would suggest that he could get one.

Chiefton wrote on December 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I would love to see more kids from Texas & Florida on the roster too --- but the reality has always been that a kid from those states would far prefer to play for an SEC or Big 12 team than they would a traditionally lower-level Big 10 team. 


Also, recent history has shown that kids from central illinois who have played for Illinois have done so on a pretty good level --- J. Leman (All-American). Mikel LeShoure (all-time UI single season rushing leader and currently in NFL), S. Bubin (played a while in NFL), Fred Wakefield (played several years in the NFL), Britt Miller (plays in NFL), Morris Virgil (started 3 or 4 yrs and played in Canadian Football League for a while).  All these kids are from East Central Illinois an I'd venture to say know how to play the game of football. 


As far as the Mammen kid, he has been selected to all 4 All-State teams that have come out after this season and his career totally yardage mark ranks 13th ALL-TIME in the IHSA.  I'd sure like to think he'd be a very nice player for the U of I and would hate to see the coaches overlook him.


And yes --- a high school coach definitely should know that a Big 10 school cannot offer partial schollies.