Caleb Campbell interview: Part 1

Caleb Campbell (Courtesy of USMA)

Caleb Campbell starred at Army for four seasons and now he's ready to make the next step. The NFL awaits. Campbell is expected to be selected in April's draft. But, first, he gets to impress scouts at the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19 and at next month's NFL combine.

Campbell is working out hard in preparation as his big shot at the pros, but took some time to talk to ArmySports.com about this past season and his future. Here is Part I of the interview. Part II will follow in the coming days.

How disappointing was this past season?

Campbell: I was disappointed, because you put so much time in, work in, and the dedication. You want to win games, you know. My four years, the Army team didn't perform the way we are capable of. But I think we set a standard for the underclassmen for the next few years of Army football. I think the freshman have a good idea of what is expected.

What do you see for the future of Army football?

Campbell: We definitely have the potential to do good things. I saw the schedule for next year, it looks pretty promising, it's a good schedule. As long as Army doesn't beat itself, make mental errors, we will be OK. Because we have the athletes. With that schedule, if we don't beat ourselves, we will be all right.

Coach Stan Brock has taken some heat from the fans. Is he the guy to lead the Army program?

Campbell: Coach Brock knows exactly what he's doing. What he told us as a team before the year is 'Guys, coaches coach, but players make the plays that win the game.' That has stuck with me. We just didn't perform well as a team this year and that made coach Brock look bad. I think he's the man for the job. Coach Brock is young, he's intense, he knows what he's talking about. He gets the kids focused and ready to play.

Now, the questions are all about you. How excited are you about the East-West Shrine Game?

Campbell: It's a chance to play with guys striving for the same goal that I have. It's going to be fun. I talked to (former Army defensive back) Dhyan Tarver today. He told me there are just a bunch of players out there trying to get the same goal you are. There are some intense workouts and practices. You just have to relax and do your thing. I'm anxious to go out there and show them what I have, represent Army football.

Do you have a goal for the game?

Campbell: Not really. It's a good question, I will, eventually. I will sit down and come up with what I want to accomplish. Do you think you can raise your stock for the NFL draft at the East-West Shrine game?

Campbell: I don't think the game will do to much, but the week of practice will. They can see the work ethic and how you are like off the field. That's important these days. Just to see how you practice, too. It will be hectic and rigorous. They tell me you will be going a lot. I think having a good week won't hurt me, but I don't know if I will jump from the fifth round to the fourth round, or something. But you never know what you are going to show a scout, general manager or coach from any team. How do you feel about having Navy fullback Adam Ballard as your teammate on the East squad?

Campbell: Obviously, we have to be together on the field, we don't want to do anything to hurt the team. Obviously, I want to win the game. It's a good chance for both of us to represent our service academies and show the coaches what we can do. I respect them, they beat us four years, I can't say much.

Have you heard the projections that you could be selected between the third and seventh rounds in the NFL draft.

Campbell: That's pretty much what I've heard. It's pretty subjective. There are a couple of safeties out there that have had good seasons, but there isn't one out there like in the past, where you are just whoa! From what I hear, East-West week and than the combine, that's what it's going to come down to.

Have you heard from NFL scouts?

Campbell: I have sat down and talked to a few, but they will talk more with my agent more than anything. I don't think they talk to the players right now. Do you think you will be moved to linebacker in the NFL?

Campbell: Some people have talked to me about that, that's kind of helped me a little. They are like 'Hmm, this guy can play two positions.' I could be looked at as a strong safety or put on 15 pounds pretty easily and play outside linebacker. They are like we could use him at as a strong safety or linebacker. I can adjust, if you are a player at this level you have to. It's a lot easier to move from safety to linebacker, than linebacker to safety.

Coming next: Campbell talks more about the NFL and his intense motivation to make it.

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