It’s been nearly eight years since Auburn, Alabama athlete Cam Echols-Luper left the Lone Star State. When you’re the son of a college football coach, moving is usually the norm. Echols-Luper’s step-dad, Curtis Luper, happens to be the runningbacks coach and recruiting coordinator for Auburn and is entering his fourth year at the university.
Luper was originally an assistant coach at Texas A&M – Commerce before accepting a position at New Mexico State. Luper stayed on the Aggies’ staff for two years before moving to Oklahoma State for a three-year stint before ultimately ending up at Auburn.
While in Auburn for the past three years, Echols-Luper has become one of the top players in Alabama. He also happens to be one of the top track athletes in the state. On the gridiron the 6-foot, 185-pounder is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state throwing for over 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception. Also blessed with 4.4 speed, Echols-Luper racked up 681 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. Echols-Luper also runs the 100, 200, 4x1 and is one of the best long jumpers in the country with a personal best of nearly 24-feet.
For Echols-Luper, despite his accolades in both sports in Alabama and the numerous changes of scenery, his heart has stayed in one place; Texas.
Echols-Luper spent most of his youth in Ennis, Texas which was home to one of the true powerhouses in Texas under legendary coach Sam Harrell. He still has family in the area and as previously mentioned; his heart has never left Texas.
This explains why he was so excited with the recent news of receiving an offer from TCU.
“I’ve been waiting for that offer for quite a while, getting it was really good,” Echols-Luper said of receiving the TCU offer. “I’m from Ennis, Texas and that’s only an hour and thirty minutes from TCU and they’ve been on a run the last couple of years; they’re also in the best part of Texas. It’s close to family, it’s real exciting because once again I can go home and play close to family like I used to.”
Aside from being close to his roots, Luper-Echols knows TCU has one of the top football and track programs in the country, which is important considering he wants to do both in college.
Luper-Echols, who held offers from Illinois, Kentucky, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Southern Miss, Toledo, Utah, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest before receiving his TCU offer, says the Horned Frogs just recently entered the picture. In the short time, he’s already built a good relationship with his recruiter Clay Jennings.
“Right around spring is when they really started to come into the picture and showing me a lot of interest,” he said. “Coach Jennings is a laid back kind of dude; he’s the kind of guy I get along with very well. If I ever have an issue, I know I can come and talk to him.”
Most schools are recruiting Echols-Luper as an athlete, including TCU. He will make the trip west next Friday to participate in the Frogs’ one day mini-camp and will work out at three different positions.
“When I go down to their camp next week they said I can try any position I want to; quarterback, wide out or corner,” Luper-Echols said.
Although his first love is offense, Echols-Luper doesn’t have a problem playing on the defensive side of the ball, particularly cornerback since he feels the most comfortable there.
“Growing up I watched my uncle, Dante Echols, who was one of the top corners in the state from Ennis. He taught me a lot on how to play corner and I still have that in my blood on how to play,” he said. “Offense is where my heart is, that’s where I’d really like to play but I’d play defense if I have to.”
One notable school missing from his offer list is Auburn, which could surprise many folks considering the family connection. However, he’s receiving plenty of strong interest from the Tigers and considers the coaches as an extended part of the family.
“I don’t have one (offer) from them, but it’s like a family business over there, everybody there I consider my uncle and father figure, it’s just like family over there,” he said.
Now that the news is well known that TCU was the offer he’s waited on, is there a chance a commitment could come as early as next week for the rising playmaker?
“Really I would like to weigh things out but you never know,” he said of a possible decision.