CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Charles Fant, now in his fifth year as the head coach of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tenn., has seen his fair share of talent throughout his coaching career.
But when he saw receiver Cameron Wynn for the first time, he knew he had something truly special.
“I remember one week he caught like a little 5-yard pass, it was literally down here on the sideline,” Fant said. “He made one little move and it was like a 40-yard touchdown. When you watch the film, most people would’ve been like, ‘Oh, OK, the guy just made a bad angle.’ But no, the guy was in perfect angle and he made such a quick move it made it look like child’s play. That’s when we knew, he has a chance to be pretty good. He was a freshman.”
Wynn may still be a couple years away as a member of the Class of 2019, but there’s certainly a lot for Vols fans to look forward to from the Tennessee commit.
In 2016 as a sophomore, Wynn proved just how incredibly gifted he is. Already a productive two-way player as a receiver and cornerback, the Fighting Irish needed the nation’s No. 28 athlete and No. 241 overall player to make a selfless position change to quarterback, a position Wynn hadn’t played since his Pee-Wee days. All he did was throw 10 touchdowns and help lead Notre Dame to the second round of the Division I, Class 3-A Tennessee state playoffs.
To Fant, that showed more than just athleticism. It showed maturity.
“When it comes to guys like that, it’s hard to handle the spotlight when you’re so young and there comes a maturity and that’s our biggest thing in Cam is his maturity,” Fant said. “We moved him around a ton last year. He played receiver, running back, he played six games at quarterback. He threw 10 touchdowns as a quarterback at a position he hasn’t played since he was like a real small kid. To be able to move around like that knowing that what he does special he wouldn’t have a chance to do every play shows a lot of maturity and that’s what we’re seeing.”
That maturity will certainly be needed for the second half of his high school career.
Certainly, to already be committed to a Power 5 school like Tennessee as a sophomore says enough about what his recruiting process has been like so early, but it’s really only getting started. Despite being one of the nation’s top players in the class according to 247Sports, Wynn has just four offers — Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Texas-San Antonio and Vanderbilt.
That’s guaranteed to change over his junior and senior seasons when schools that already have an eye on him like Clemson, Duke, Notre Dame and Alabama, among others, start to turn that interest into serious offers. That means that commitment or not, his next two years will include a lot more college mail and plenty of eyeballs on every game he plays over his final two seasons.
Not only does he not think the added pressure will alter his commitment status, he’s welcoming it.
“Before I committed, [Notre Dame assistant head coach Curt Jones] said, ‘Are you sure?’ I was like, ‘Yes sir.’ He said, ‘Well I don’t need you out there losing your composure. I don’t need you out there doing anything wrong. Just play ball,’ ” Wynn said. “So right now, I hope to see a lot of eyes. I want to open a lot of eyes. That’s my goal. I hope you see. I never feel pressure. I just want to show you. I hope that people just come up to me, try to get me out of my composure, I hope to see that.”
Certainly it’ll help take some of that pressure off that Wynn has already made up his mind on where he’ll play at the next level, barring any large changes between now and February 2019.
It will also help that Notre Dame has solved its quarterback problems, which will allow Wynn to spend more of his time on offense at receiver, the position where he’s capable of doing the most damage and his most likely position in college.
“First of all, he’s not playing quarterback right now so that’s a huge load off of his back, and then the other thing is that we’re running the air raid offense and we’re simplifying things so much and seeing him understand what he’s supposed to do, we see him do things faster, more explosive,” Fant said.
“It’s really about competition now. He doesn’t have to worry about the college thing anymore, doesn’t have to worry about recruiting. His job right now is to be the best student at Notre Dame High School and the best player. And we’re going to see that growth. I think we’ll see him be more technically sound as a receiver and defensive back.”