CHERRY HILL The route to the top of the depth chart for Nazir Streater hasn’t exactly been typical.
The junior is slated to be a first-time starter for Camden Catholic this season, although varsity action doesn’t exactly feel new. Streater, a running back, got plenty of it last season.
With the Fighting Irish going 8-2 in 2014, outscoring opponents by 35 or more points in six of those wins, Streater saw plenty of action.
“The starters would blow the other people out,” said Streater, who logged time on an undefeated JV squad, “so I was really playing.”
He wasn’t just playing. He scored six touchdowns and learned from Malik Johnson, who recorded 14 TDs last year as a senior. The featured back before him was Jarred Alwan, a two-year letter winner at Temple University the last two seasons.
Camden Catholic coach Nick Strom isn’t shy of mentioning those names to Streater, giving him a benchmark to reach as a junior because “that’s how highly we think of him and I think of him.”
“I’ve been challenging him with stats all year from (Alwan) and even the kid last year, Malik Johnson, which are big shoes to fill,” said Strom, in his second year of coaching the Fighting Irish. “The kid last year scored 14 touchdowns for us in seven games. I’ve been challenging him with those numbers, because that’s what I think he’s capable of.”
“I think they’re perfectly doable and I can get them done,” Streater said. “I’ve just got to work in the weight room and at practice and just get ‘em.”
He’s asked all the time, but is not related to wide receiver Rod Streater, a Burlington native who went to Temple and is now on the Oakland Raiders’ roster.
“My family, mainly my dad and my grandmom, they’ve really been on me trying to help football take me to the next level, to college, for the education,” Streater said. “That’s what I’m really working for.”
He’d like to go to a local school like Rutgers or Temple, and remain close to home. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound back would love to get any offer, and his coach thinks this year will put him on the map.
“He was a free safety for us (last year) and kind of a third-string running back because I had Malik Johnson, who, with better grades was probably a Division I-AA football player, and I had Jamal Parker, who is getting offers,” Strom said. “Those were the two guys in front of him, so it was really tough to find him a role. Even in the mop-up time or the time we had him in there, he scored six touchdowns. I really think the sky’s the limit for him.”
Streater expected to take the jump this season and become a starter, “but now it’s really becoming real,” he said. He’s not just going to be happy trotting out onto the field with a bunch of seniors, either. He wants to answer his coach’s challenge and put his name up there in Camden Catholic history with Johnson, Parker and Alwan.
“It’s gonna be a big jump, jumping from JV to varsity and making the right reads and everything in practice,” Streater said. “It’s gonna help for the games. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Dave Isaac; (856) 486-2479; email@example.com .