There’s no question that Cameron Dollar has talent.
The redshirt sophomore Charlotte wide receiver was a premier high school player who racked up 1,000 yard seasons in his junior and senior years. He played alongside current college stars Sage and Chazz Surratt, who all formed somewhat of a super team back in high school.
Now in his second season on the field, Dollar is starting to tap back into that success that Charlotte he knew he was capable of. Dollar has doubled his numbers from last season in the first eight games of the 2019 campaign.
“It’s a process you just have to go through,” said Dollar. “I tried to use that redshirt year to the best of my ability.”
Dollar grew up right up the road in Denver, N.C. and attended East Lincoln High. At East Lincoln, he didn’t just excel at football but as a basketball and baseball player as well.
His most memorable moment, however, came during his senior football season.
In a senior-night game against Christ the King, Dollar set a record for most touchdowns in one half with seven. That game gave Dollar a lot of attention and he even scored an interview on ESPN.
Dollar had already picked Charlotte as his future home at that point, which was a decision made based on the proximity from home. He had offers from Coastal Carolina, Lenoir Rhyne and other colleges across the Eastern United States talked to Dollar. The idea of being near his siblings and family was something Dollar couldn’t pass up, though.
“I wanted to go to a place where I can stay close to home,” said Dollar. "I got two younger brothers and I wanted to be role models to them. When I got that scholarship, it checked off every box for me.”
Dollar has had to overcome a lot of obstacles since coming to Charlotte, beginning with navigating through a redshirt season his freshman year.
Dollar spent a lot time on his body and improving his skills to make sure he was ready for high-level talent. It came with a set of challenges and there were some growing pains.
“It definitely was a transition, from going to being the guy in high school to coming here and barely playing at all,” said Dollar. “It’s just tough going from an all-time high to being a small fish in a huge pond.”
Dollar put on some muscle and became a more flexible during his redshirt season. In his first full season, he only had two receptions and one touchdown.
Although he wasn’t producing as much, he was able to learn from seasoned veterans.
“We only had two seniors on the team, Mark Quattlebaum and Workpeh Kofa, and they were the best role models I could ever ask for,” said Dollar. “I didn’t get as many catches for touchdowns as I would have liked, but I learned so much through that that’s helped me this year.”
It’s apparent that mentorship is making Dollar quite the asset for the 49ers.
Dollar is averaging 13.1 yards per catch and has 315 receiving yards along with two touchdowns. His biggest moment so far as been a 46-yard touchdown back in August against Massachusetts. He’s also been more involved in the 49ers’ playing scheme as the season has rolled on.
Dollar has been used as a slot receiver most of the year but he believes that might start to change during the last stretch of the season.
“Everyone has a role, and early on mine was slot play, but here lately opponents have been manning us up,” said Dollar. “We are just trying to adjust and soon, I feel like things will start to open up.”
There’s a lot to be accomplished for Dollar and the 49ers for the rest of the season. After a win against North Texas on Saturday, Oct. 26, Charlotte still has a chance to make a bowl game. Charlotte’s remaining opponents include Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Marshall and Old Dominion. If they can win at least three of those four games, Charlotte might be able to represent Charlotte in a bowl game for the first time in school history.
Getting to a bowl game is the main focus for Dollar.
“At the beginning of the season I had goals for myself but right now that’s not something I’m looking towards,” said Dollar. “It’s team goals. We all want to be bowl eligible and that’s something we are working towards.”
The present is important for Dollar, but you can’t help but notice how much potential there will be in the near future for the 49ers. Dollar will have two more seasons of eligibility left and he knows he’s poised to breakout, along with a bundle of receivers who have big seasons on the horizon.
“When you think of Charlotte, you think of potential and that’s what every last one of us has,” Dollar said. “We’ve got a huge receiver room with a lot of talent and I just we grow as a team, rather me individually.”
Dollar is confident the success in his talented wide receiver room is going to translate to success across the board. There will be a bunch of guys coming back from injuries or returning with more experience next year. Furthermore, Dollar has set the bar high and hopes Charlotte can compete for a championship of some sort.
“I feel like we have a lot of young talent in other position groups. We all are growing and are young,” Dollar said. “In the next couple of years, don’t be surprised if we have an undefeated season or win a conference championship because that’s what we are striving for.”