All eyes on Cam Jurgens as he attempts to fill some BIG shoes

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Cam Jurgens eagles devonta smith
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith, center, celebrates after his touchdown with offensive tackle Lane Johnson, left, and center Cam Jurgens, right, in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Eagles have had the luxury of relying on the same dependable Hall of Fame Center for 13 seasons. For the first time since 2011, the team will enter the season without their Team Captain, Jason Kelce, leading the offense. But to Jason, they have the best replacement HE could find. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jason’s hand-picked successor, Cam Jurgens, two years ago amidst as much uncertainty that draft night, as the team will face heading into 2024 with a new Center. 

Draft Night

Cam jurgens
MADISON, WI – NOVEMBER 20: Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Cam Jurgens (51) awaits the snap durning a college football game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers on November 20th, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire)

It’s hard to believe Cam Jurgens had more important things on his mind when the Eagles selected him in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft than playing in the NFL, but finding shelter in his grandmother’s basement at her home in Pickerel, Nebraska from a tornado would qualify.

The night Cam Jurgens was drafted he was unable to do a video chat after being selected due to a tornado warning causing him to not have WiFi.


“Oh, my God, it was wild. About 10 minutes before I got picked, everybody’s phone is buzzing. My phone buzzed (for a tornado warning). I get picked, and we’re upstairs celebrating, and all of a sudden we hear this loud thunder and lightning outside. I’m like ‘all right, guys, we have to go downstairs now.’”

It was such a special night, that not everyone was on board to flee to safer surroundings, tornado warning or not.

“Grandma was like, ‘No, it’s been a great night. I’m not moving.”

Gotta love Grandma!

One would be hard-pressed to find a wilder draft night story.

“I gotta think I’m going to remember that for a long time. It was excitement, then all of a sudden chaos of a tornado, and thunder and lightning, and hail coming in. It was crazy.”

So if fans thought that the Eagle’s drafting competition, in the form of another OL in the 3rd round (Tyler Steen) was going to rattle him, or that he would have to change positions due to Kelce continuing to play, think again.

Growing up

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 07: Philadelphia Eagles center Cam Jurgens (51) looks on during training camp on August 7, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Cam Jurgens, the youngest of three children, is from Beatrice, Nebraska, where he worked on the family farm raising cattle, corn, and beans.

He was also developing the work ethic and character that follows him to this day.

The life lessons he learned on the farm in Nebraska, such as being prepared, working hard, and soaking in every bit of knowledge he could, serve him well in the game of football. Being a jack of all trades on the farm followed him to the field.

A natural athlete and hard worker, Cam has always been unfazed by being asked to do different chores or being asked to play different positions. 

Cam Jurgens attended Beatrice High, where played basketball for his HS, was an all-state honorable mention selection, and was a member of the track team, for which he won a state title in 2018. He was also a four-time state champion in the discus and three-time champion in the shot put. Which runs in the family.

His mother Beth is a 12-time NAIA All-American at Nebraska-Kearney. She is in the school’s hall of fame by earning seven national titles, setting the indoor shot put record and the NAIA national championship discus record.

But excelling at football is Cam’s thing.

Cam Jurgens earned Second Team All-State honors as a sophomore, and First Team All-State as a junior.

Even after missing half of the games during his senior year due to an injury, he still ended up with 57 tackles and 1 interception on defense, while contributing 318 rushing yards, 277 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns on offense.

Cam Jurgens played at 245 pounds in high school as the team’s tight end, but unbeknownst to him as he made his way to Lincoln, he was about to be asked to play a position that he had never played nor even taken a snap at.


Coming out of high school, Cam Jurgens was ranked as the number seven tight end in the 2018 recruiting class, and number one in his home state.

Despite all of those accolades, and having no experience at the position, Nebraska Head Coach Scott Frost thought Jurgens could use his “nasty streak” and be turned into a dominating center.

So, in the spring practices of 2019, Frost did just that, by having Jurgens make the transition from tight end to center.

The rest is history. Cam Jurgens dominated as his Head Coach thought he would where he would go on to start 31 out of a possible 32 games and play 2,067 snaps at the position. Per PFF, in 1,016 pass-blocking snaps, Cam allowed 1 sack and a meager 4 QB hits in his 3 seasons as a starter. This was good enough to be Nebraska’s highest-graded OL with the best pass and run-blocking grades. And a certain Center in Philadelphia was taking notice.

Jason Kelce

Jason kelce eagles
FILE – Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2024, in East Rutherford, N.J. Eagles center Jason Kelce has told teammates he intends to retire after 13 NFL seasons, according to three people informed of the decision. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, out of respect for Kelce’s decision, which has not yet been made public. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

“Out of all the guys that compare the most to myself, this guy is him.” Jason Kelce

Can’t get much higher praise.

What Cam Jurgens and Jason Kelce lack in size they make up for with strength and their knowledge of the game and their technique and by using leverage. Lane Johnson agrees.

“I think with Cam, him being 6–3, he gets natural leverage on some of these taller guys. And his strength allows us to create some good movements”

Jurgens like Kelce, can also get to the second level down the field. On stretch plays, he can be seen getting to the third level too. There is no quit. And Jason Kelce admires his work ethic. 

“He’s my favorite center prospect of the last 3-to-5 years, I think he can be special. I’m excited to work with him. This kid offers a seamless transition, same type of player, with exceptional upside. It’s hard to explain why I think he’s so good, it comes down to how he moves and looks. He bends well, opens his hips, is very strong for his size, is an incredible athlete for his size. On top of that, just a great temperament, solid workhorse, lunch-pail mentality.”


Howie and the Philadelphia Eagles seem to be prepared to give Cam Jurgens his shot. Unless they are willing to draft a third successor (Landon Dickerson was also thought to be Kelce’s replacement) their O-line would seem to consist of Jordan Mailata and Landon Dickerson on the left, Cam in the middle, and Tyler Steen and Lane manning the right side of the offensive line.

His transition back to center should be more comfortable than right guard was for him as he will not worry about protecting space and he will be back in the position he played in college that convinced Jason Kelce he would be the man to succeed him. The time is now for Cam Jurgens to prove his mentor and former teammate right.

As always, Thank You for reading.

Please follow me on X @PHLEagleNews 

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer