At 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, Conner McArthur is an unmistakable, imposing man-child.
Fun-loving and still growing, the Auburn boy just turned 14.
He towers over family and friends but where he really stands out is on the football field, where his blocking and tackling along the line of scrimmage helped Cascade Middle School capture the Auburn School District title last season.
USA Football, a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing and developing the sport, recently selected McArthur to represent his country at the U.S. National Development Games in Canton, Ohio, on June 29-July 5.
McArthur will compete against, and play alongside, some of the best players his age in daily practices, jamborees and full-contact regulation games throughout the week at Walsh University.
For McArthur, the U-14 camp is an opportunity to develop his leadership, character and football skills by learning from some of the best college and professional athletes and coaches.
McArthur, son of Jeff McArthur and Bettie Ogden, is a freshman-to-be at Auburn High School.
“I strive to be an ambassador of American football around the globe,” McArthur said in a statement. “To have the chance to play while representing the greatest country in the world, in the birthplace of my sport, on the birthday of my country … is truly an honor, that with your help, I will realize, experience, cherish and respect for a lifetime.
“I have loved this game of football for my entire life, and one of the many things I have learned along the way is this: football is the ultimate team sport, and without a full team working as one, you simply can’t play, or furthermore, play to win.”
McArthur not only helped the Spartans win the district middle school crown, he also was a member of Northwest Cougars 2014 Tanoa Bowl championship and 2015 spring league teams.
Off the field, McArthur volunteers at Northwest Harvest, the Auburn Food Bank and his school’s Builders Club.
Jeff McArthur said his son has come far in such a short amount of time on the gridiron.
“He’s played for only two years. He has a lot of stuff to work on but to be selected (is an honor),” he said. “Coaches see enough potential that they want to continue to work with him. … I just want to get him the best possible coaching available.”
Team McArthur has set a fundraising goal of $5,000 to cover registration, training, travel, gofundme fees, and other expenses.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/%20W87FNDS.