Campbell Set To Check Out Arkansas Soon
It's no secret that Arkansas is looking for a few big-time defenders for its 2015 recruiting class to add to its current 12 pledges and one possibility hopes to check things out in the coming weeks.
Yazoo, Miss., defensive end Gabriel Campbell (6-5, 255), a pass-rushing specialist who has Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State among his 10 offers, had hoped to be on hand when the Razorbacks host Nicholls on Saturday.
But he won't be able to make it and will push that visit to sometime in the near future. “That's my plan right now,” Campbell said. “I am going to try and get up there because I really want to check things out up there. The Arkansas coaches are telling me they could really use somebody like me that is physically ready to come in and play right away. That's very appealing to me.”
He watched some of Arkansas game against Auburn and has seen some others games in the past.
“It looks like they have great fan support and some great facilities and that's one reason I want to get up there this weekend to check it all out,” Campbell said. “I know they have had some great years in the past and haven't been winning lately, but have a great coaching staff that I think has them going back in the right direction.”
Razorback coaches have also been selling the outdoor life in Arkansas up to Campbell, an avid hunter who also likes fishing.
"I am all about learning about that," Campbell said. "I am all about hunting and fishing. If I couldn't do that, man, that just wouldn't work. It has to be a place I can do that."
Campbell – a 3-star prospect ranked as the 46th-best defensive end in the country by Scout.com - had just 31 tackles last season, but had five sacks after becoming a starter midway through the season and is poised for a breakout year this season.
He considered himself a baseball player more than a football one until the last one when interest started coming his way.
“I pitched, played first base and just about every position,” Campbell said. “I thought I might have a chance to be drafted (by the major leagues), but now I am thinking that my future is in football.”
Actually he has his eyes set on one thing outside of sports.
“My first real goal was to be a Navy Seal,” Campbell said. “I was going to turn 17, graduate high school, go into the military and then become a Navy Seal. I still may be a Navy Seal after college. I really believe there is a future in that for me.”
Asked about his strengths and weaknesses on the football field, Campbell hedged just a bit.
“I'm the type of guy that doesn't like to brag on myself and just kind of let my play do the talking for me,” Campbell said. “But I think most people like my size and my speed. I know there is nothing that I can't get better at so that's the way I have to look at it. I really think my best football is ahead of me because I am learning all the time now that I am concentrating on football more.”
Campbell attended Mississippi State's 49-0 win over Southern Mississippi last weekend and has been to Starkville a few times, but hesitates to say he has a front-runner.
“I don't think it would be right to say I like one place more than the other,” Campbell said. “I have been to a few places, but I want to see a lot more. You just never know which place it will be that I going to fall in love with, feel the most comfortable and feel the most needed. I'll just know when I know. I am in no hurry.”
Campbell had originally hoped to take an official visit to Arkansas this weekend, but has to wait on that because he had not yet taken his ACT test – an NCAA requirement to take official treks.
“They definitely have my interest because it is an SEC team and a place that I think could use me right away," Campbell said.
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