Football recruiting: Safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig adds physicality to CU Buffs’ secondary – The Denver Post

At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig knows he’s not the ideal size to play safety in college football.

He’s never let that get in his way, though.

“I’ve always been the smallest guy, so it’s nothing new,” said Silmon-Craig, who is transferring to the Colorado Buffaloes this month after two seasons at Jackson State. “I was a small guy in the SWAC.”

Small or not, Silmon-Craig has always played well enough to be wanted by new CU head coach Deion Sanders.

Silmon-Craig is one of 21 scholarship transfers committed to CU this winter, including seven who have followed Sanders from Jackson State.

For Silmon-Craig, the relationship with Sanders goes back several years.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Silmon-Craig moved away from home as a high school junior to play at Trinity Christian High School in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Sanders was one of the coaches at Trinity Christian, along with Kevin Mathis and Andre’ Hart, who are now on CU’s coaching staff.

When he graduated from Trinity Christian in 2021, Sanders was already the head coach at Jackson State, with Hart and Mathis also on the JSU staff. Silmon-Craig didn’t have any Power 5 offers, but Sanders wanted him at JSU.

“(Going to JSU) was going for what I know, going for what I feel,” he said. “Coach Prime was at Jackson already doing a lot of big things and I already feel comfortable with coach Mathis and coach Hart. I went back to my family and … they just felt like that was the smartest decision for us in the end.”

After two seasons at JSU, Silmon-Craig said there was no question he wanted to stay with Sanders and transfer to CU.

“His staff took a chance on taking a kid when a lot of people didn’t take a chance on me,” he said. “So I feel like this is kind of a way of me paying them back for all they did for me. Wherever they were going, I was going to go for what I know.”

Despite being a smaller safety, Silmon-Craig was a two-year starter at JSU, recording 113 tackles, 10 TFLs, 4.0 sacks, five interceptions and five pass breakups. This season, he was named an HBCU All-American and first-team All-SWAC.

“I went out every game and gave it my all and did what I had to do and we made a lot of good things happen,” he said. “We had a lot of wins. I know I can be better, but I’m pleased with what we did at Jackson.”

He said he knows he can compete in the Pac-12 because of the fact that Sanders wanted him at CU.

“He wouldn’t bring a guy in that was short-changed and wasn’t up to his standard,” Silmon-Craig said. “I hear a lot of things about the Pac-12: they’re faster, line is a little bigger. I feel like I’m already there mentally. I just know I gotta get there physically to be able to do what I gotta do.”

What Silmon-Craig lacks in size, he makes up for with physicality.

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“That’s my bread and butter,” he said. “When I was growing up, coming up in little league, I would play with the age group above me and I was playing middle linebacker. So, I was the smallest guy on the field, but I was playing middle linebacker. It was crazy.”

After making an impression on Sanders in high school and at Jackson State, he’s now eager to make an impression at CU. He’s spent his entire life in the South, but Silmon-Craig is ready to experience something new while having the familiarity of being coached by Sanders again.

“My family loves Coach Prime and loves everything he stands for,” Silmon-Craig said. “They love everything he brings. They love the standard and the old school mentality he lives by and I love it.”

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