On and off the football field Bergen Catholic's (Oradell, N.J.) Cameron Queiro is known to be quite a competitor. Whether it's playing Xbox or tackling a 200-pound running back, the 6-foot, 200-pound safety/linebacker seems to always be up for the challenge.
“I'm definitely not afraid of competition,” said Queiro confidently. “My brother and I compete at everything and I bring that type of atmosphere into everything I do. I try to pattern my game after linebacker James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers) because I believe he's the toughest player in the NFL. He's aggressive, fast and strong, and I can see myself playing like him. He's not afraid to take on linemen or big backs and I honestly believe he's not scared of anything on that field, and I feel the same way.
“When I'm coming to hit somebody, I'm definitely thinking, in my head, how am I going to get them on the ground. Whether you're playing safety or outside linebacker, you're one of the last lines of defense and you can't let the ball carrier go free and get the big play. That means I come with force and I know I run fast enough, so if I hit a ball carrier straight on, he's going down.”
The Bergen Catholic standout helped lead the Crusaders to 8-4 record this season against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. With four of their early games being played against some of the top out-of-state competition like Nevada's Bishop Gorman (ranked 44th nationally), Washington's Friendship Collegiate Academy, New York's St. Anthony's and Florida's Cocoa, Bergen Catholic would definitely be battle tested before entering the meat of their schedule against nationally ranked state powers like Don Bosco Prep (58th nationally) and Paramus Catholic (38th nationally).
All four their losses would be by a combined total of 17 points.
“Every single one of those games was a dogfight and we just came up a little bit short,” he said, somewhat disappointingly. “We also won quite a few close games also and that just goes to show you the makeup of our team. We're tough mentally, physically and even in those losses we played our hearts out.”
Hoping to erupt on the recruiting radar for the class of 2014, the talented junior has had an opportunity to see the process firsthand with his brother Kyle, a 2013 recruit who is currently committed to Northwestern and has close to 10 offers from places like Boston College, Duke, Illinois, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
“I saw my brother getting offers last year and I thought to myself, ‘I have to work a lot harder to be able to do it he's doing,’ explained the talented athlete. “I'm not going to lie, I had doubts sometimes, but I put in so much hard work that I figured I had to get a least one offer. When I got that first offer, I was the happiest person in the world, but I'm still working hard to get even more.
“Right now I have three offers from Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Vanderbilt. I'm also hearing from some other schools like Boston College, North Carolina State, Temple, Missouri, Syracuse and a bunch of others.”
Has his brother given him any advice on how to deal with all the attention?
“He tells me just to stay calm and be you,” shared Queiro. “You don't have to act a different way with coaches. Just be yourself and let them get to know the real you. Ae friendly and confident.”
Queiro has no doubt on what he'll be looking for when the time comes for him to choose a university.
“I'm looking for a place that can put me in the best situation, academically, for life after football,” he explained. “I'm also looking for a place where I fit in with the players and coaches around me. I want someone that has my back and he and help me get my game to the highest level. I'm just looking for a competitive environment because the more I compete, the better I get.”
Though he has yet to hear from the Irish, they’re already a team Queiro’s keeping close track of and he's hoping to hear from them some time in the near future.
“I would definitely be interested in hearing from Notre Dame,” he said excitedly. “Their defense is very impressive and I know a few people that have played there. I'm not going to lie, I love that school a lot and whenever there on TV, I'm rooting for them.”