State of the Hogs: Texas

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There is a man in the Broyles Center with a burnt orange perspective on Arkansas vs. Texas.

Dean Campbell grew up in Austin, lettered for the Longhons during their 30-game winning streak, coached at Texas, and spent 25 seasons on the other sideline at Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Rice. Campbell, who is in his first year as director of high school relations and also works with NFL scouts when they are on the UA campus, was bound to be a Longhorn.

He grew up a block from UT coach Darrell Royal, and across the street from Texas legend Rooster Andrews (and Bobby Layne's roommate at UT). Mike Cotton, a great UT quarterback, lived a few houses away. Campbell recalls Royal stopping on the way home one afternoon to toss the football around in the neighborhood.

"I really didn't have much chance to end up anywhere else," Campbell said. "I remember in the third grade, Coach Royal stopped his car in the middle of the street as we were playing. He got a duffel bag from his trunk and handed out helmets."

They were orange, outdated by Texas' move to the now-traditional white.

"He handed me one of the old orange helmets and said they wouldn't need them anymore," Campbell said. "And, then he made a mistake. He said, ‘Come by and watch us practice if you want.' That was all it took for me. I think he meant come watch ‘em once. I never missed another practice until I started playing in junior high. My mom would pick me up at school, drop me off at practice and my dad would pick me up on the way home. Sometimes Coach Royal took me home. I'm sure I was a pain in the butt, but I was there every day."

Campbell, a waterbug of a wideout at 5-foot-5, wasn't sought by anyone coming out of high school. He walked on at Blinn Junior College and two years later, still no interest.

"I saw Rooster Andrews that winter after I was done at Blinn," Campbell said. "He was a Texas legend, owned the sporting goods store that sold all the gear to UT. He had gone from manager to kicker and is in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. He told me to write Coach Royal and ask if I could be a walk-on."

Royal responded and Campbell was soon a part of the most famous period in UT history. He was a redshirt with the 1969 national champs. He lettered in ‘70 and ‘71, playing in two Cotton Bowls as an alternate with split end Cotton Speyrer.

"Really, in ‘69 ... I'm not sure anyone even knew I was there other than Coach Royal," he said. "But the next summer, Coach Royal called me in and gave me a scholarship. I rotated with Cotton in ‘70 as the messenger. I think I got to return punts because Cotton didn't like it.

"You look back on the ‘70 season and we were so good that we rarely passed. When we did, Cotton stayed in and they just sent in the play by subbing at halfback. We had put in the wishbone and we had such good personnel and were so far ahead of everyone with that offense and our games were so lopsided that we didn't even throw a pass in the first three games in ‘70."

In the Texas Football Preview of the ‘71 season, there is a mug shot of Campbell — identified as a ‘zippy split end' — beside the likes of Randy Braband, David Arledge and four or five other UT stars.

"Really, I was proud just to be part of those teams," he said. "I saw Chuck Dicus not long ago and was telling him that in ‘69 before the Shootout, I wore a red No. 20 and was him in practice. I considered that a great honor."

There will be another reunion of the players involved in the Shootout on Friday night in Austin. This time, players from the ‘64 game, won by Arkansas, will be included.

"From what I understand, that was Coach Royal's idea," Campbell said. "I was told that when he heard they were going to have another reunion like they had here in 2004, he said, ‘Let's bring in an Arkansas team that whipped our butts, too.' That's like him. When he lost, he was always quick to go into the other locker room to congratulate the other team."

Because of obligations, Campbell might be a late arrival at the reunion.

"There have been a lot of reunions of those (Texas) teams, but because I was always coaching somewhere, this will be the first for me," Campbell said. "I've heard from my old teammates that the one they had (in Fayetteville) was the best thing they'd ever done."

Campbell remembers clearly that Arkansas outplayed Texas in ‘69 and should have won. "There was just some of that James Street-Coach Royal luck at the end or it would have been Arkansas as the national champs," he said. "We all knew that." In his day, Texas' two big games were back to back.

"What you have to remember is that Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma ... were full of Texas high school players," he said. "So we all knew each other. But there was a difference between the two teams. We hated Oklahoma. We had ultimate respect for Arkansas.

"Really, in those days, Oklahoma was kinda in a lull. The game that meant the most was Arkansas. We knew to make it to the Cotton Bowl and to play for the national championship, we had to beat Arkansas.

"The other thing I remember is the way the Arkansas team played. They were by far the best-coached team we played and the cleanest. Those games were highlights to us as players."

He's been on the opposite sideline from Texas so many times that Saturday will be just another game, he said, other than visits with former teammates and his two children.

"I know what this game means to both sides," he said. "Coach Royal used to tell us, ‘If you can't get fired up for this game, then your wood must be wet.'"

Dean Campbell is director of high school relations on Bobby Petrino's staff. He played for the 1970 Texas team that won the national championship.

Photo courtesy of Texas sports information

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