At 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, senior lineman Cam Craig of the Dublin Jerome High School football team lets his play on the field do his talking.

"He's a hard-nosed, blue-collared kid," coach Bob Gecewich said. "He's a pretty humble kid. He works really hard. He genuinely deserves all the good things that he gets because he's earned it and he's a good person."

The Celtics' starting left tackle, Craig committed in early June to play at Purdue but continues to garner interest from other colleges. However, he hasn't wavered on his commitment to the Boilermakers thanks to a trait instilled by his parents, Sean and April.

"My word is my word," said Craig, who also sees time at nose tackle on the Celtics' defense. "If you say you're going to do something, then you do it. ... The coaches (at Purdue) were great and I thought it was a good fit. As soon as I decided, I knew that was the place I wanted to be."

Craig was 6-0, 200 pounds as a freshman on Jerome's junior varsity but has increased his weight and strength over the years with the help of a rigorous training schedule, highlighted by weight-lifting.

"You never know how a kid is going to grow, but with his work ethic and just how big his lower half was, I thought he had a chance," Gecewich said. "He just had to get taller and grow into his body a little bit. He's 280, but he's thin. It will be interesting to see what Purdue does with him."

Craig saw spot duty on varsity as a sophomore before becoming last season. His junior year ended in Week 8 when he injured the MCL in his right knee. Although the injury didn't require surgery, his recovery required nine weeks of inactivity.

Despite missing the final two weeks of the regular season and the Celtics' 35-0 loss to Olentangy Liberty in the opening round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs a year ago, Craig was named second-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division and special mention all-district.

Craig returned for his senior season at full strength and, according to Gecewich, has emerged as one of the top offensive linemen in the area.

He credits Gecewich for his development.

"He's been a fantastic help," Craig said. "He cares about us. He wants to see us succeed outside of football more than anything."

Craig had hoped to close his prep career with a postseason appearance, but that goal took a big hit with Jerome's 38-7 loss to visiting Hilliard Bradley on Oct. 12. The Celtics are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division as they prepare to visit first-year Olentangy Berlin on Friday, Oct. 19.

The Bears are 1-8 overall and 0-5 in the league.

Jerome, which plays host to Worthington Kilbourne on Oct. 26, was projected to be 11th in the Division I, Region 2 computer ratings this week. The top eight teams in the region qualify for the playoffs.

Craig also has competed in basketball, wrestling and baseball during his prep career, but said he likely won't compete in another sport this school year in order to focus on continuing his training for his first season with the Boilermakers.

"Cam thinks long-term," Gecewich said. "He's not thinking of how many alternate jerseys he's going to wear (at Purdue). He's thinking about 'How can I set up for the future.' "

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