Rhode Island high school football has been looked down upon by high level college programs for a long time, but Cameron Alves is trying change all that.
If you follow high school football in Rhode Island or Southern New England, chances are you have heard the name Cam Alves. Alves, a Providence Journal, first-team All-State selection, will be entering his senior year at Cranston High School West in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Alves was the Falcons Quarterback in the 2018 season where the team made it to the Division 1 title game, but fell just a few points short to a high powered North Kingstown team.
“That loss was a tough one to take because our team fought so hard to get there,” said Alves
Alves and the Falcons knew what it felt Iike to come up short in a title game. The Falcons reached the Freshman Championship game in 2016 and fell short to perennial power house Bishop Hendricken.
Needless to say, this group has experienced some success. The success that stems from having strong championship runs at the youth level. The same key group of kids have been together since the U9 years of the local AYF organization, CLCF Chiefs. They have had a few nice additions along the way and that is what makes this team dangerous.
“This senior year is big for me because it’s my final ride with my football family, we have a brotherhood” said Alves.
So while Alves is contemplating the Falcons taking the field for the first time in 2019, he is also working a “second job”, trying to get a scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 football at the next level. The road is paved with stereotypes due to Alves being from Rhode Island and being 5 foot-9 inches tall and weighing 182 pounds.
Alves’s has been fighting for his proverbial life out there at Division one camps. His measurable stats are very good, but not the top with a 40-yard dash time of 4.61 and a vertical of 33-foot-5. While these type of numbers are important when getting recruited Alves makes up for any short comings with exceptional football knowledge and shear talent.
“I’m a football player, I was raised by my Dad to be a football player and when someone lines up against me all those stat numbers go out the window, they realize this kid can play, I turn heads,” said Alves
Alves bring his top game every time he steps on the field. His average sized frame becomes a weapon of mass destruction that opposing coaches most likely lose sleep over the night before playing the Falcons. He cuts, sheds, takes on the first two tacklers with ease and flys around on defense like a bird of prey, swooping in hard and fast, delivering powerful interactions with his opponents.
So why is he having trouble getting a Division 1 scholarship in his own home state of Rhode Island? With schools like URI, Bryant and Brown, could it be his grades? Probably not since Alves sports a 4.0 GPA. Could it actually be the lack of overall respect for the hard working coaches and players in Rhode Island? I doubt it because all these schools have Local players. Recently players like Kwity Paye (Michigan), Xavier Truss (Georgia), Jake Picard (Villanova) are starting to change the thoughts on Rhode Island football, but these kids are anomalies. The sports is trying to flex its muscles in the state, but still can’t break the Barrier across state lines.
According to myrecruitztips.com size and strength is number nine out of the top 10 traits in a Division 1 football recruit at an offensive skill position. Oh and Alves isn’t worried about the strength classification with a bench of 270 pounds and a squat of 375 pounds. Those two number right there are the sign of a work horse in the off season.
The top traits the recruiting coaches looked for were cutting, outside speed, ability to catch a ball in traffic, down field vision, durability, shed a tackler and are you a home run threat. Alves does not just possess all these traits, he excels in them.
“The biggest kids always pick me to go against at camps to impress the coaches, it never works out in their favor,” said Alves
After speaking to many high school and college coaches they all bring up character has a huge trait with recruits. Could the reason Alves isn’t getting a full Division 1 offer be his character? Not according to Falcon’s head football coach Tom Milewski.
“Cameron is always helping out the younger players, as a captain he leads by example,” said Milewski
Alves gives back to the community by helping to coach youth flag football, giving time at the autism walk in the fall and volunteering at the new football field project.
“Cameron was the first one there to help, he never complained, he is a true leader,” said Milewski
Alves also has a strong family background and credits his parents with getting him to where he is today.
“My Parents have been my inspiration, this whole college journey is so I can get my education and put as little financial stress on my family as possible,” said Alves.
Alves has the character, integrity, academics and football heritage that NCAA football programs want in a player. Alves has enough football I.Q., skill and talent and keep opposing coaches in the film room for hours trying to figure out how to stop him. Alves DNA contains the works ethic, commitment to his teammates and desire to compete. So are we to believe that it is merely the fact that he has excelled in the State of Rhode Island and not Florida or that he is only average height?
So far no Division 1 scholarship offers have come across the table, but Alves thinks it unfortunately will be his senior year highlights that can put him over the top. The issue is, Alves doesn’t play for the highlight reel. Alves plays for his family, football brothers, his school and his city.
“Hopefully a school takes a chance on me so I can make them look really smart,” said Alves