GONZALES, La. — With just a week to go before the early signing period in December 2017, East Ascension (La.) offensive tackle Cameron Wire had every reason to reconsider what he was going to do next.
The assistant coach who had spearheaded his recruitment from the beginning, LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, was hired as BYU’s next offensive coordinator. What would the new guy be like?
As it turns out, James Cregg was good enough to keep Wire the same way he had been since June 7, 2017 — completely committed to LSU.
Wire, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle, recently sat down with SEC Country and shared that detail and others from his recruitment — including why Oklahoma just didn’t feel right to a Louisiana boy.
SEC Country: How did it play out through your eyes when Coach Grimes left for BYU?
Wire: When I first heard about Coach Grimes leaving, I was kind of hurt. But then I got a chance to meet Coach Cregg, and I felt like I could have a good relationship with him the first time I talked to him. He left a good impact on me. And I’m in love with the school of LSU, so I didn’t want to go anywhere else.
SEC Country: When he left, did he reach out to you?
Wire: He reached out to me. He told me he was always going to keep his eyes on me, and anything I need I can talk to him. He’s always there.
SEC Country: What was it about Coach Grimes that made you two close?
Wire: Me and Coach Grimes had a good relationship from my freshman year to my junior year. We became closer and closer each year.
SEC Country: What was your first interaction with Coach Cregg like? Were you nervous?
Wire: I was really eager to meet him and get a feel for him. See what he was like. Because I realized that was going to be my new offensive line coach. I was able to build a good relationship. He met way more than my expectations. It struck me how confident he was in me and how much he believed in me that I could do great things.
SEC Country: Why did you shut your recruitment down last June?
Wire: I wanted to get my grades right, and look at some of LSU’s offensive linemen to get my game better and get ready for it.
SEC Country: Which schools were looking at you the hardest?
Wire: Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. I took a visit to Oklahoma.
SEC Country: What was that visit like? That’s obviously a very different world from Louisiana.
Wire: It was really different up there. It was a good experience, but it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to spend four years of my life and play football. It was just different kind of people up there. I didn’t feel like I would fit in there.
SEC Country: You can’t find too many offenses different than Oklahoma and LSU. What was your reaction to being recruited to a wide-open offense like Oklahoma’s?
Wire: It caught my attention for a little minute. I would talk to Coach Grimes about the difference. And he would say LSU’s offense would prepare me better for the NFL than Oklahoma.
SEC Country: Most of the Big 12 and SEC offered you a scholarship before LSU. What was it like waiting to hear from your home-state school?
Wire: It was kind of frustrating. I just had to keep waiting. But I used to talk to them about it and I understood what the process was, and just to be patient and wait for it. Then when I finally got it, it meant more to me than if I would have gotten it a long time ago.
SEC Country: Do you remember when they extended the offer?
Wire: They came to one of my spring practices [last year]. Coach Grimes recorded it. Then they went back to Coach O [Ed Orgeron]. He told me to call Coach Orgeron, he had special news for me. And that’s when Coach O offered me.
SEC Country: What was that day like?
Wire: It was very exciting. My mom was excited. I called some of my family. They were excited. And Coach O was excited to make the offer. That was the only offer that I was really, really excited about.