OAK LAWN | The Richards 7-on-7 Passing Camp is a media day of sorts for those who make their living covering high school sports.
Baseball is over, the opening of football practice is still nearly two months away. But, brought together for convenient notebook stuffing in the middle of June are a dozen teams, or at least a dozen teams' skill-position players.
No wonder, then, Mount Carmel's Matt Domer was pulled aside for chat after chat June 22 in Oak Lawn. No wonder, then, that during one of those chats with a videographer, Domer's casual command of the medium became as obvious as his skills running the football.
"I'm not surprised," Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti said. "He's got the personality for it. He's a very likable person. He's a nice-looking young man."
And yes, Domer has heard the TV talk before.
"I'm definitely interested in it," he said, flashing the smile that all but ensures the interest will be returned. "I talked it over with my parents. And I want to stay a part of the game as long as I possibly can."
Thus, it might behoove the football programs at Illinois, Indiana, Syracuse and Kansas — the schools Domer lists as the finalists in his search for a college — to ship him a brochure on their schools of communication. Quickly, as Domer is nearing decision time.
"Before the season, definitely," he said. "I want to get it over with so I can focus on the season. We're trying to repeat."
Though the defending Class 8A state champs run the option, right now Domer seems to be the first option. He is one of a handful of returning Caravan offensive starters. Gone are quarterback Don Butkus and running back Draco Smith, who combined for 1,488 yards and 25 touchdowns rushing last season.
Domer had 1,365 yards on 155 carries — an average of 8.8 yards per rush — and 20 touchdowns.
Lenti is not shy about singing the Matteson resident's praises.
"To me, he's a five-tool player," Lenti said. "He can run by you, he can run over you, he can make you miss, he can make a block and he can catch."
Nor is he shy about noting that athletic ability isn't all the Caravan will need from Domer in the 2013 season.
"He's three years on the varsity, he knows what the expectations are," Lenti said. "He knows he needs to step up this year."
Domer didn't argue.
"I'm not concerned about the defense," he said. "There are leaders all over the place on that side of the ball.
"The offense is going to need leadership. I'm going to have to be in that leadership role."
Of course, it has never been difficult for Domer to get to the front of the pack.
"I'm fast," he said. "I like to move. Give me space and let me go."
Domer claims a personal best 40-yard dash time of 4.41 — which would have put him among the fastest running backs at the last NFL draft combine. But, speed is not all he brings to the field.
"I've developed an inside game," he said. "I can get the tough yards."
No matter that future professors might advise he leave the tough yards to the radio guys.