Left-handers are sometimes thought of as free spirits. They don’t follow the norm. But Cam Roane isn’t going to apologize for that.
A lifelong southpaw, Roane has made the most out of it and will be playing Division I college football because of it. The Colleyville Heritage senior quarterback is a couple of weeks removed from giving his verbal commitment to San Diego State.
The Aztecs coaches apparently had more faith in what they seen than what any other Power 5 football programs saw. Verbal commitments are non-binding. The first day a recruit can sign a national letter of intent on Feb. 1, 2017.
“I really enjoy the [San Diego State] offense and how the quarterback has the freedom to take control of the offense,” Roane said. “I got really close with a lot of P5 coaches. There was talk of offers but I never got one.
“I think a couple of things happened. I’m 6-2 and they want they usually want someone at 6-4. And I definitely thing being left-handed played a part. People like to recruit a left tackle for their quarterback [a right-hander] and they’d have to switch up their offensive line for that.”
There is something to that. Traditional offenses feature a right-handed quarterback whose blindside will be protected by the left tackle. With a left-hander, the concept flips. It also can change a blocking scheme and how the offense is run.
As the spring evaluations moved forward, Roane sensed the connection with the SDSU coaches. What they probably appreciated more was how quickly the ball gets out of Roane’s hands.
“I’ve been working on that since I was in seventh grade, and I’ve really worked on with my training with QB coach [Robert Hall at Mesquite Horn],” Roane said. “I know the San Diego State coaches looked beyond everything. That’s why I committed.”
Roane spent a good portion of his offseason working on strengthening his shoulder after suffering a sprained left anterior cruciate early in 2015. He wound up missing the Coppell game mainly as a precaution.
But his debut high school season – he transferred from Grapevine Faith – didn’t indicate much to any struggles with the drastic transition. Working with a pretty impressive wide receiver corps led by junior Ke’Von Ahmad, Roane threw for 2,300 yards with 21 touchdowns. He only threw nine interceptions and guided this team (5-6) to the Class 6A state playoffs
The expectations for Colleyville Heritage are even higher this fall. The Panthers are dropping down from 6A to 5A and will be reunited with Grapevine-Colleyville ISD partner Grapevine in the same district for the first time in two years. With most of the skill position players returning and building some depth on the offensive and defensive lines, the Panthers are hoping for a memorable run.
While they didn’t qualify for the state 7-on-7 state tournament, Roane and his receivers have kept to a daily throwing session. Nowadays, the game is all about repetitions.
“Cam has taken his game to another level,” Colleyville Heritage coach Joe Willis said. “The hours of film study and learning mixed with his desire to be a leader for our team are the things that will make him a great player this fall. His sacrifice and hard work paired with a commitment to his team makes him the best quarterback I have ever been around.”