Camiel in a good place ahead of senior season #iufb

Dimitric Camiel almost didn’t make it at Indiana.

Reflecting now, on the first day of his final college training camp, it’s easy for him to understand why.

Camiel recognizes he was immature as a freshman. He lacked focus and had a list of bad habits that could have ended his time in Kevin Wilson’s program before it ever really began.

Indiana right tackle Dimitric Camiel (77) celebrates a touchdown with running back Devine Redding during IU's loss to Ohio State on Oct. 3, 2015. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
Indiana right tackle Dimitric Camiel celebrates a touchdown with running back Devine Redding during IU’s loss to Ohio State on Oct. 3, 2015. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
“He was a little bit of a knucklehead,” IU right guard Dan Feeney said. “I’m not gonna lie.”

He came to Indiana in 2012 aiming to be one of the Big Ten’s best offensive tackles. Camiel, however, was blocked by a major hurdle to that goal.

He didn’t know how to work for it.

Four years later and Camiel has settled on a more stable path, one that could lead him to a football future beyond Bloomington.

“I had a lot to get right within myself,” Camiel said. “With that, I’ve grown a lot as a person.”

Wilson and offensive line coach Greg Frey are certainly glad to see he’s done so. Within the last two seasons, the 6-foot-7, 320-pound Texan has earned the starting job at right tackle on one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

He started all 13 games there as a redshirt junior in 2015, teaming with Feeney to form a stout right side of the line. With that, Camiel has begun to follow through on his initial goal of becoming one of the league’s better linemen.

“He came in as a developmental body and he bought into the development,” Wilson said. “… He went from being a guy that you really didn’t know if he was really going to play. Next thing you know, (you think) he’ll be solid. Next year, (you think) he’s got a chance to be OK. Now he’s got a chance to be pretty good. I think he’s got a chance, if he’s got a good year, to be in a pro camp. I don’t know if he’s a draft or a late pick kind of guy, but he’s come a long way.”

Camiel redshirted that first year in 2012, struggling to approach the game with consistent work ethic and a big-picture attitude. He missed home in Houston, Texas and wasn’t feeling good about himself or his place.

“Things weren’t going right for me,” Camiel said. “You come in and every freshman wants to be that guy, be the freshman (who is) playing. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t happen immediately like I thought it would. It hit me in my ego. Then I got coach Frey on me and coach Wilson on me.

“… It left me with a two-way street. I was either going to change my mindset and chase greatness, or I’m going to stay with the same mindset and end up out of the program. As a freshman, I saw guys that were here and they didn’t change their mindset. I looked at them and realized that those guys weren’t doing what I wanted to do, so I changed my mindset the right way.”

Camiel’s shift in approach began to breed better results during his sophomore year. That, coupled with nagging injuries to Ralston Evans, allowed Camiel to assume more responsibilities in 2014, when he appeared in all 12 games, starting five, including four at right tackle.

With Evans forced to take a medical redshirt last fall, Camiel found his biggest breakthrough on the field and started all 13 games at right tackle.

“To watch where Dimitric started and watch where he is, to know what his goals are and his dreams are and to see him chase it is why you coach,” Frey said. “We’ll see how he does this season, and see if he has a great season or not, but the maturity and the growth as a man (is good to see). Dimitric is certainly ready for whatever life is going to bring.”

The immediate future should see Camiel back at right tackle. Though First-Team All-American left tackle Jason Spriggs has graduated, Wilson said he hasn’t been tempted to move Camiel to the left side.

For one, Wilson likes having a brawler like Camiel at right tackle. The program is also looking to groom sophomore Brandon Knight as a fixture on the left side of the line. Plus, he and Feeney seem to work well in tandem.

“Doing double teams with him is really fun,” Feeney said.

For his part, Camiel doesn’t care where he plays along the line.

To know he’s a valued member of the program at Indiana, with potential to play beyond college, is all he needs.

“I want to go to the top,” Camiel said. “I want to be the best right tackle in the league, the best guard, center, whatever. It don’t matter. I’ll play long snapper, I don’t care. I just want to be the best at whatver opportunity I have. I want to be a big role model for my little brother. However far God is willing to take me, I’m down for the ride.”

4 comments

  1. All the best to you, Dimitric, this year and in the future (NFL). Stay healthy and stay humble.

  2. Just read 2016 OL commit Ryan Smith is not in camp or on the roster. But unlike Drayton no reason given or even a mention. What gives?

  3. This why I still enjoy college football and find it hard to like the NFL. In college, you have young men who are willing to learn and humble enough to realize that they have a lot to learn. Coach Frey says seeing kids like Dimitric develop as players and men is why he coaches. Seeing the same development is why we fans watch too, coach.

  4. Camiel has become one of my favorite players over the past couple of years. I remember what a project he was and I wondered if IU was reaching too far to get bigger OL players. As Camiel says he decided to turn things around and I think he is a fun player to watch. I agree with Kurk81 that players like Camiel keep me coming to watch IU games as a fan.

    Keep up the good work Camiel, good luck with the season and your future playing options.

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