Portland, Ore. (KOIN) — On Monday, Cameron Scarlett’s cleats were dodging cowpies in Idaho while he put himself through the paces. On Friday, his cleats were cutting through the well-manicured grass at the Seahawks practice facility in Renton, Washington with far more than just a rotten stench at stake should he misstep.
The Central Catholic alum and former Stanford running back has been waiting nearly 10 months for the opportunity he now has with the Seattle Seahawks – a chance to make an NFL team.
“They say good things come to those who wait, but it’s really hard to chase your dream when you don’t really know what’s coming and you just have to keep believing in yourself,” Scarlett said.
Scarlett was on the Tennessee Titans training camp roster in 2020, but with no preseason games and not enough time to stand out, was cut before the regular season began.
“It’s super fulfilling,” Scarlett said of the phone call he got after that Friday workout from Seattle telling him they were signing him to the training camp squad.
After calls to his parents, his older brother Brennan, recently signed to the Miami Dolphins as a linebacker, was Scarlett’s next call.
“He just gave me this look of like he was shocked,” Scarlett said. “I was like, ‘they’re about to sign me,’ and he was like, ‘what do you mean?’ I was like, ‘they’re about to sign me to camp,’ and we got super excited together so it was a very special, memorable conversation.'”
Being signed to camp was the first step – but Scarlett is working hard to ensure it’s not the last.
“I told myself I could be excited for like, 24 hours but then I have to really try to make this team now.”
Scarlett will try to carve out a place for himself within a very crowded stable of Seahawks running backs that includes newly re-signed Chris Carson, a healthy Rashaad Penny, and a rejuvenated Alex Collins. In a group that talented, where he’ll likely not get many reps early on, Scarlett is focusing on standing out in ways other than just his talent on the field.
“I just try to separate myself with the mental side of the game, making sure I’m up on top of my plays and grasping onto the concepts really fast.”
Scarlett, a Stanford graduate, says that means going back to the hotel and putting in an extra hour or two looking over the playbook every day after camp. He writes down formations, questions and concepts to follow up with coaches on. It’s a kind of studying he enjoys quite a bit more than what he was doing as a member of the Cardinal.
“This is a lot more fun,” Scarlett said with a smile. “I like to study plays more than the actual textbooks.”
Scarlett’s reps should increase through camp and even more so in Seattle’s three preseason games, something head coach Pete Carroll says will be an opportunity for Scarlett.
“He’s working hard, he’s not getting a lot of shots yet, but he will, it’s coming,” said Carroll. “He’s a tough guy, he’s really solid at everything, and has learned really well. We will see, it will take us a couple of weeks before we get a good look at him. It really will be important to see him in pads in the next couple of days.”
The Seahawks put pads on for the first time this training camp on Tuesday, and while Scarlett may not get many reps, he’s planning on making every one of them count.
“If I’m not getting as many reps, I’ve got to show them that I’m going to bust my butt as hard as I can, go as hard as I can every play.”