Standing as one of the first linebackers Michigan offered in the 2015 cycle, Cameron Townsend has fair share of attention thus far. Townsend, who is a four-star prospect holding eight offers at the moment, is a stand-out outside linebacker for Ridge Point High who does a little bit of everything on defense. This past year, Townsend helped lead Ridge Point to an 8-2 record, which is a vast improvement over a marginal 2012 season.
"It went pretty good I'd say," said Townsend. "Now that people know who I am, I didn't get too many plays my way per game. But the ones that did go my way, I took advantage of. I showed of a little bit of all my skills throughout the season individually. From a team stand point we took a big step from last season. Last season we only finished 5-5 in the regular season. This season we only lost two games and went 8-2 in the regular season. I personally feel like this season was a pretty good year."
As mentioned earlier, Townsend is much more versatile than the average outside linebacker. While Townsend is a bit undersized to play outside linebacker in college at the moment, he has over a year to grow and perfect his physique. At 6'1" and 200 lbs., Townsend has excellent mobility and will look to add some clean mass before attending college.
"I have real good lateral speed and I'm able to run from sideline to sideline," said Townsend. "I m pretty good off the edge getting to the quarterback. I can drop in coverage as well. Also, my takeoff speed is very good too around the line of scrimmage. When you watch my film, people would assume that I'm just a fast guy, but I think I'm pretty strong too. I would definitely feel like my biggest strength is my speed. It's hard to stop coming off the edge."
These qualities could translate to a few different positions, and it is feasible to see Townsend contribute in coverage on passing downs in college as well. If it were up to Cameron, though, in college he would ideally like to fill the same role he does now.
"I really like where I play now," said Townsend. "In college, I would like to play outside linebacker. I like to come off the edge, rush the passer, but also drop back in coverage sometimes. I can play man coverage every now and then. I would definitely like to contribute to the pass rush because that's where it's at for me."
Since Townsend has shown the ability to tackle well in the open field, can hang with wide receivers on downfield routes and can create pressure within the pocket, Cameron has received a steady amount of interest from college coaches. Of the schools pursuing him the hardest, Texas immediately comes to mind. Although he received most of his interest from the Longhorns when former coach Mack Brown was at the helm, Texas is still a school that is high on his list.
"One of the schools that is the most interested in me is Texas when Mack Brown was there," said Townsend. "I haven't talked to coach Strong yet. I still really like Texas though. Other than that, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Northwestern have showed interest. Northwestern hasn't offered yet because I need to get a better score on the Reading section of my ACT, but those are the schools that are interested in me right now."
Although Townsend holds an offer from Michigan, the Wolverines are one school that has curiously not been in contact with Cameron as of late. Michigan running back coach Fred Jackson visited Ridge Point last May to meet with Townsend. At the end of that meeting, Townsend held a Michigan offer. In the time since, though, the Wolverines have not persisted in their pursuit of Townsend.
"I have not heard from them actually," said Townsend. "They aren't really recruiting me at all and I don't even get mail from them. Their running back coach came to my school one day and just offered me out of no where. I have not heard from then since then. I didn't know what was up with that."
But if Michigan was to increase their attention in Townsend, the four-star prospect would certainly listen. Based on the academics and tradition at the University of Michigan, Townsend realizes the opportunities that the Wolverines present. Still, Michigan would be fighting an uphill battle for his services.
"Yeah, I would definitely consider Michigan," said Townsend. " But it's hard to say that I like someone if I think they don't really like me. Like I said, I haven't even gotten any kind of mail from them, so I can't say they are that interested in me."
For the rest of the offseason, Townsend has a few stops in mind that he would like to make. While most of his camping was done last year, Cameron has a few campetitions in mind that he very well may compete in.
"I might go to the Rivals camp to try to get to The Opening and the Rivals Five-Star Challenge," said Townsend "I might head to some college camps that I'm really interested in, but that's about it. Performing in front of the coaches of the schools i'm most interested in is something I look to do though."
The most likely reason that Michigan hasn't recruited Townsend is that they feel he will be a tough pull to get out of Texas. With his home-state Longhorns showing legitimate interest at this point, Townsend looks like a Texas. Still, a multitude of changes can transpire, although it is unclear if those changes will involve Michigan or not.