NFL Scouts looking at Caleb Campbell

NFL scouts plan on taking a good look at Army strong safety Caleb Campbell this season. According to several NFL scouts, Campbell is on several teams' radar and could even be drafted.

"I have him going late in the draft, but more likely as a free agent," said an AFC scout, who asked that his name not be used. "Obviously, a lot will depend on how he does this season. If he has a good year, you never know." The scout added that Campbell could be asked to play linebacker in the NFL. "He's 225 pounds or so, so he could play the position in the right defense," the scout added. "maybe he adds some weight, but that doesn't have to happen." Also attractive to scouts will be his speed and ability to hit. Still, like the scout said, a lot depends on this season. Campbell tore the ACL and MCL in his knee last Oct. 28 against Tulane in New Orleans. He missed the rest of the season and sat out spring drills. Campbell is expected to be fully healed for fall practice. But expect Campbell to be back with a fury this fall. A lot of people in high places certainly do. Despite his horrific injury just six months ago, Campbell, a junior strong safety, is one of 42 individuals named Monday to the preseason "watch list" for the Lott Trophy. This marks the second consecutive year Lott has been named to the list. The award is named after another hard hitter, Ronnie Lott, of San Francisco 49ers fame. Campbell is expected to be 100 percent way before Army hopes the season against Akron. He is a true impact player. And what a coincidence. The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. It's a special award, considering it's the first college football award to recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. We all know about Campbell's character. He began his Army career in 2004 as part run-stopper for Army, part deep man, part linebacker. He played one position. Confused? Campbell was at times. He played the position called the whip, a Todd Berry creation, that former coach Bobby Ross whacked after his first year.

Campbell did a decent job, especially considering he was only a freshman. He started Army's final six games. But whip is a tough position for anyone at the Academy to play. So Army coach Bobby Ross dropped it after 2004 in favor of a more conventional 4-3 defense. Campbell flourished in the new scheme. Let's hope he flourishes this fall.

If he does, expect him to get, at least, a small look by the Lott committee, even though players from bigger schools have the advantage. Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.Despite missing the Black Knights' final three games, Campbell ranks as Army's leading returning tackler after recording 59 stops in 2006. Campbell has developed into a play-making impact performer on the defensive side of the football over the past two seasons. In 2005, he registered a team-leading 97 tackles and five interceptions.

Speaking of impact, Campbell could make one on the next level. The scouts certainly think so.


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