As Brashear’s other D1 linebacker, Kameron Cheatom ready to make a name for himself

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Thursday, July 28, 2022 | 12:37 AM


On many other football teams, Kameron Cheatom would be the most talked about player on the roster. At Brashear, that title rightfully belongs to teammate Ta’Mere Robinson, the top-ranked recruit in Pennsylvania.

Both are seniors. Both play linebacker. So it’s easy to see how Cheatom might be overlooked in Robinson’s shadow.

“Sometimes it gets like that, but it’s all love between me and Tay,” said Cheatom, who recently committed to Akron. “There’s no ego. I don’t mind it.”

“He’s handled it very well because him and Ta’Mere are like the best of friends,” Brashear coach Andrew Moore said. “They both featured each other in their commitment videos. And the thing is, throughout the recruiting process, everybody who expressed interest in Ta’Mere also asked about Kameron.”

But with Robinson’s knee still on the mend after ACL surgery, all eyes in the City League could be on Cheatom this fall. It’s likely Robinson, a four-star recruit and Penn State commit, won’t play football this season.

Even if he does, Moore has said Robinson wouldn’t be an every-down player.

“With him not playing this season, I’ve got to step up a lot,” Cheatom said. “Losing him, he’s a big part of this team. I know some younger guys look up to him, so I’m going to make sure I play that senior year role.”

Teams start heat acclimation Aug. 8. Brashear’s season opener is Aug. 26 at Baldwin.

Cheatom already was a vocal leader on defense, but the 6-foot-3, 225-pound outside linebacker says he’s ready for an even bigger role. He earned all-City League honors at defensive end last year and will add wide receiver to his responsibilities this season. As a result, Cheatom is hoping his senior year has people talking about him and his team.

“I’m definitely going to make sure I have my own name and people don’t know me as ‘Ta’Mere’s friend’ or anything like that,” he said with a laugh.

Brashear coaches shifted Cheatom around the defense last season, playing him as a pass rusher, slot cornerback and middle linebacker in a 3-3 stack defense. As a rush end, he once had seven sacks in a two-game span.

Coaches like his athleticism and versatility. Moore said he’ll probably see time at every linebacker spot this year.

His on-field responsibilities may increase without Robinson, but his leadership skills were already maxed out.

“Kam has always been the more vocal guy,” Moore said. “When Kameron walks in the door, you hear his voice. You hear him in the locker room. He’s the team prankster. He’s the life of the party. Even with having a guy like Ta’Mere (on the team), Kameron gets a lot of respect from guys because he’s one of the hardest workers I’ve been around.”

Rated by Rivals as a three-star prospect, Cheatom committed July 19 to Akron, where he was recruited by two different coaching staffs. He chose the Zips over offers from Bowling Green, Kent State, Maine, Miami (Ohio), North Carolina A&T, Temple and Toledo.

Former Akron coach Tom Arth had offered him a scholarship before his junior season, but that coaching staff was later fired. In December, the university hired Penn Hills native Joe Moorhead as coach, and Moorhead’s staff re-offered Cheatom a scholarship in January.

“I was waiting for the offer again,” said Cheatom, who liked that his family could drive there and watch him play. “I was excited when coach Moorhead got the job because I already know some guys at Akron. Once they re-offered me, it’s just been love ever since.”

The City League has seen an uptick in Division I recruits in recent years. Among them, Westinghouse grad Dayon Hayes is a junior at Pitt and Perry grad Tyreese Fearbry is a freshman at Kentucky.

When Robinson committed to Penn State, he made his announcement July 15 at a neighborhood field in Homewood as youth football players practiced. His message was that kids in the city don’t have to leave town to earn a college scholarship, a message Cheatom’s commitment reinforced.

“We’ve had more kids decide to stay in the city,” Moore said. “Families aren’t looking to move elsewhere because they think it’s going to jump start their recruitment. … There definitely was like a drought on talent. A lot of the guys were leaving. Now that they’re back, it just proves us to be right.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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