Cameron Gergley, Winter Park DB

Winter Park cornerback Cameron Gergley had six interceptions in a breakout senior season, but he still has no college scholarship offers to show for it. (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL)

Note: This is one in a series of stories about under-rated Central Florida senior college football prospects.


With players like Trent Harris and Gabe McClary on his team, Cameron Gergley is puzzled why he still sits without any major college football scholarship offers. Couple that with a season that saw Winter Park lose just two games, and it’s easy to see why Gergley is baffled by a lack of attention.

For that matter, so are his teammates running back/slot receiver RaRa Lopes and offensive lineman Angelo Owens.

Scouts were frequent at Winter Park practices last spring, checking out the Wildcats’ top prospects in defensive end Harris, who is already enrolled as a member of Miami’s 2014 recruiting class, and wide receiver/safety McClary, who will sign with Boston College on Wednesday.

Gergley had a breakout season that would garner attention for many defensive backs. He was among the state’s leaders in interceptions with six, and had some of his best games in high-profile matchups, like the Wildcats playoff thriller against West Orange and a season-ending loss to Apopka.

“Gabe and Trent were both committed though, so I don’t know if maybe that had something to do with it,” Gergley said of perhaps a reason why he was not noticed much during the regular season. “In the spring game there were a lot of coaches out there and I had an interception in that game, but yeah I am surprised.  I feel like I did really well this year, especially since last year I only had three interceptions.

“I was an impact player last year, but I really wasn’t making plays like I should be and during my senior I think I grew a little and I started developing more and growing into my body and I was able to make more plays. I’m just really surprised right now.”

Still the 6-foot, 180-pound cornerback has had limited recruitment. The name Gergley would  immediately suggest a certain amount of respect and attention. Longtime Winter Park head coach Larry Gergley was an icon for Central Florida football during his long run as the molder of young minds. Winter Park plays on Gergley Field, in fact.

No matter. The young Gergley hasn’t gotten anywhere with his name or his skills. Even a lack of respect, perhaps was evident at the Orange County Metro All-Star game, for which the uniforms worn by the players had the name of the Gergley Foundation misspelled across the back of the jerseys.

So the recruiting process has been frustration, to say the least, for Gergley, who is the son of the elder Gergley’s daughter Catherine. He's also fully qualified, standing with a 3.1 GPA and he scored a 23 on his most recent ACT.

“Basically, I’m just under-rated. It surprises me because I know I can play on the next level and make an impact,” Cameron said. “I want to play the game I love. I really love football. I put my all into it and I’m just surprised I’m in the position I’m in right now.”

Nonetheless, he remains optimistic that something will come about and he’s not concerned with the approach of National Signing Day, which is Wednesday.  That’s the day when most prospects across the country will sign National Letters of Intent for the college of their choice, but players do not have to sign Feb. 5, and the NCAA football signing period lasts until April 1.

He’s had conversations with a number of coaches and earned the most interest, so far, from Stetson, but the non-scholarship program is a difficult financial chunk to bite off for most families. Tuition alone at Stetson is $38,000. He also has had talks with Temple, New Hampshire, Coastal Carolina and Wofford.  

“I’ve been talking to a few coaches, like a few D-1 schools and a lot of FCS schools,” Gergley said. “I don’t get my hopes up. I don’t count on anything. My coaches [Tim Shifflet and Craig Russell] tell me that after signing day they think a lot of schools will come around and I have a good feeling that something else is going to come along. All I need is that one opportunity.”

Stetson, which just completed its first football season in more than 50 years, has been on him more than any other school.

“They call me all the time and they are heavily recruiting me,” Gergley said. “They’re talking about financial packages and everything. It’s close to home, it’s a great education and they have a great coaching staff. They’re just starting out and I feel like over time they are going to grow to be even bigger. It’s good football too. They’re D1-AA.”

But he said he’ll be patient. In the meantime, he’s accelerated his work out regiment to focus even more  on his defensive back skills. He worked out quite a bit with former teammate Blake McClain during the past holiday break. McClain just finished an impressive freshman season at Kentucky.

“I’ve gotten more physical and in practice I’m trying to get better,” Gergley said. “When play corner I like getting in the receivers heads and coming up and jamming them, getting physical with them.”

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