Campbell gets attention at NFL Combine

No question, Caleb Campbell made the right decision when he backed out of the East-West Shrine game last month with a tweaked hamstring. But that meant he had much more to prove at last week's NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Campbell took care of business with the big boys. "I think I still have some things to prove with respect to covering over the top like a free safety has to and my coverage skill sdownfield," Campbell said. "Most of the scouts have mentioned that they like the way I play the game and that they like the way I hit and playrun support. I still want to be able to show what my footwork andtechnique are like in coverage."

Campbell ran a 4.5 in the 40-meter dash, but tweaked his hamstring again. So it's inlikely he will participate at Army's Pro Day in front of NFL scouts. But this isn't likely the last time scouts will see Campbell perform. He could attend pre-draft workouts before the draft. Campbell made a name for himself at Army, but the East-West Shrine game would have been a great way to really introduce himself to NFL scouts. Especially if Campbell put up one of his hard-hitting performances that had Army fans cheering. After tweaking his hamstring at the combine, he declined to compete in agility drills. That certainly won't help his case, but it isn't as bad as it sounds. What matters most is interviews with scouts, which Campbell aced, and his game film tape. He aced that, too, just check out his Army highlights.

Campbell is the ninth ranked player at the safety position out of 131 by nfldraftscout.com. Many insiders project this year as a weak year for safeties. They also see Campbell as a late-round draft pick, possibly a free agent. Time will tell.

Campbell, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, made 307 tackles in four seasons at Army. His combination of size and speed could make him a linebacker in the NFL. That versatility will attract NFL scouts. Campbell wasn't an underdog at the combine, maybe just a bit unheralded because he played at West Point. Campbell thrived on that.

Growing up in tiny Perrytown, Texas, people told him he couldn't play Division I football. Only two Division I schools, Army and Tulsa, recruited him. But Campbell proved everyone wrong with a stellar career at Army. Hopefully, he follows that performance up in the NFL.

Extra points: Here is a look at nfldraft.com's top 10 safeties in the draft: 1. Kenny Phillips, Miami (FL); 2. Jamar Adams, Michigan; 3. Tom Zbikowski, Notre Dame; 4. Craig Steltz, LSU; 5. Wesley Woodyard , Kentucky; 6. James Silva, Boston College; 7. Dennis Keyes, UCLA; 8. Josh Barrett , Arizona State; 9. Caleb Campbell, Army; 10. Chris Horton, UCLA......Army punter Owen Tolson worked out at the NFL combine on Saturday. He is ranked fifth out of 53 punters. Tolson could end up getting a non-guaranteed free agent contract with an NFL team......Georgia Tech recently found an opponent to replace Army on its 2008 schedule. It's Division I-AA Gardner-Webb. Army was scheduled to host the Yellow Jackets, but backed out last October. Georgia Tech will host Gardner-Webb. "The circumstances in which Army backed out of a scheduled date, and complicated by the fact we had no other openings on our schedule until 2012, made filling the 2008 schedule a challenge," Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich said. "While we are pleased to have a seventh home game, we are disappointed that we could not come to an agreement with a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent." Don't expect Radakovich to send Army athletic director Kevin Anderson a Christmas card......Add another recruit to Army's long list. His name is Shola Mustapha, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound defensive end from Lincoln High (Fla.), located near Tallahassee. Mustapha made 31 tackles for Lincoln last year and registered two fumble recoveries.


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