It was a long time coming….but Cam Echols-Luper has finally found a home for the 2022 season. Echols-Luper is a name that is steeped in Texas Football History. Whether it was his father, or his uncle they both had significant careers in football. His father became a well known coach and recruiter, while Cam became a Swiss Army Knife on the field. Now Cam will try and make a name for himself with the USFL’s New Jersey Generals.
Beginning in football in Elementary school, Cam showed no fear even at this age. His uncle who had suffered a devastating injury that left him paralyzed, had been part of his motivation to play the game. How a young man like him at the time could witness this, and still want to play football will never quite make sense to me. With that being said, Cam belongs in professional football. While he believes he has a future in coaching like his father, he isn’t ready to transition to that career quite yet. Nor are we as fans ready for him to hang up his cleats yet.
While he saw time as a passer in college, throwing a total of 8 passes completing 6 of them for 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and 213 yards, this was not his primary position. A high school quarterback, he transitioned to wide receiver when he attended college. A position he would settle in at and continue to play into his professional career.
Cam was a natural at receiver and by his final two years in college it showed when he caught a total of 68 passes for 880 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He would add 9 carries for 14 yards as well. In the NFL it is now all the rage to bring in players that can do a little bit of everything on offense. We have seen guys like Ty Montgomery, and Deebo Samuel transition from wide receiver to running back in the league when called upon. Cam is a guy who not only can and has played wide receiver, and running back, he is also a capable passer as well. This is exactly why the USFL finally brought him in to camp for the 2022 season.
The USFL has very small rosters when compared to the NFL. While the NFL carries 53 men on their active roster, they now also carry 16 man practice squads. To put that into perspective, in the same game with similar rules, the USFL is going into their first season with 38 man rosters, and 7 man practice squads. Meaning a grand total of 360 players were brought in to populate these rosters in 2022. Never again will the USFL bring in that many players in one season now that the rosters are built, and it is expected some players will remain for year 2 and beyond.
To see your name on these rosters is still no small feat. We heard reports the USFL had a draft pool of up to 3,000 players, yet selected just over 1/10th of that pool to build their rosters. That’s why guys like Cam Echols-Luper, and Malik Hamner have found themselves as some of the select few in this league. Both of which now reside on the Generals with Mike Riley.
Cam brings the ability to almost play that Taysom Hill role, albeit you won’t see him playing tight end, you can and likely will see him add depth at Quarterback, and Running Back while still playing wide receiver full-time. As if that wasn’t enough he has experience in the return game and could contribute there as well. To put his versatility even further on display…How many players in the USFL, were up to being signed, out there training other players and helping them achieve their dreams while trying to achieve your own?
The truth is that most players try to focus on their own careers, and while they may train with other guys they aren’t coaching them up or training them like Cam is. Why is this significant for Mike Riley and the Generals? Cam is the kind of guy who views the game like a coach and quarterback. He adds an extra set of eyes that can add to the relatively small coaching staff for the Generals. Further positively affecting his team.
Regardless of what position he winds up playing the most for the Generals, I am positive Cam will find success. He has simply had too many setbacks, and still persevered to get where he is at today to count him out, especially when he was finally given the opportunity he has been waiting for since graduating college. Bouncing around on practice squads may help you develop, but Cam isn’t shy about saying his goal is to make the active roster, and make an impact. Putting the team, and the rest of the league on notice, when he steps on the field that a dangerous athlete has just arrived, and if you don’t key on him, your defense will be sorry.