Cam Buffington signed up for a June 18 Iowa Football camp not having heard from the Hawkeyes before. Last week, assistant LeVar Woods invited him to campus for an earlier camp this past Sunday. He took the coach up on his request.
It turned out to be a good decision.
With a goal in mind of learning more about the game at the camp, Buffington picked up his first scholarship offer. Iowa let him know on Thursday.
"I was shocked in the moment," he told HN. "I didn't see it coming. I just go to the camps and try to learn as much as I can from the coaches. I try to get better as a player. I did not expect a scholarship offer."
It arrived after just his freshman season at Winfield-Mount Union (IA) High, which plays eight-man football.
As a linebacker, Buffington (6-3, 200) recorded 50.5 tackles (38 solo) and an interception. Offensively, he carried the ball 114 times for 956 yards and 17 touchdowns, and also caught four passes for 73 yards and two scores. He handled the team's punting duties as well.
Buffington also excels on the basketball court for the Wolves and the All-Iowa Attack on the AAU circuit. He's coming off a freshman season that saw him average 17.2 points and 9.5 rebounds. In track, he posted the school's best marks in the 100 and 200 meters, and long jump this season.
Winfield-Mount Union football coach Scott McCarty and basketball coach Klay Edwards both called Buffington hard-working and humble.
"It was a lot for him to tweet out that he received the offer," Edwards joked.
Despite his exploits in multiple sports, Buffington favored football at a young age. He usually was the biggest, strongest and fastest player among his competitors.
"I've always loved tackling people and running around and scoring touchdowns," he said.
Buffington likes staying busy, so a summer full of football camps (he also camped at Iowa State and will return to Iowa on June 18) along with AAU basketball is something he welcomes. And it's not he only competition he enjoys at this time of year.
"I'm used to the schedule because I've shown 4-H all my life. 4-H animals and basketball and football, it's all just kind of the summer for me," he said.
Buffington picked up valuable tips at Iowa's camp. He really appreciated being totured on tackling technique.
His relationship with Woods is in the early stages, but a bond is forming.
"He's great. I love coach LeVar, how he treats me and everything," Buffington said.
Winfield-Mount Union reached the football playoffs last season, losing in the first round. Buffington has set a goal to go farther in '21 and win at least one state championship in his prep career.
He's not letting an Iowa offer go to his head. If anything, it's motivating him.
"It really makes me want to get in the weight room and do extra reps. If I keep working hard, maybe someday I can maybe pursue on the NFL level," he said.
Besides, the Iowa opportunity still doesn't feels like a dream.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet. I sit down to think about it sometimes and I'm like, wow, is this real?" Buffington said.