Army stars headed for mini camps

Last weekend was a historic one for Army football. Strong safety Caleb Campbell was selected in the seventh round of the NFL draft last Sunday, becoming the first Black Knight since quarterback Ronnie McAda in 1997 to be chosen.

That same day, fullback Mike Viti signed a non-guaranteed free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills. The weekend, well, long weekend, just kept getting better: On Monday, Owen Tolson agreed to a non-guaranteed free agent contract with the New York Giants and wide receiver Jeremy Trimble accepted a tryout invitation from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Campbell, Viti and Trimble are at rookie mini-camp this weekend. Tolson will be at mini-camp next weekend.

Our Army guys have already made us proud and expect them to keep up the good work in mini-camp and training camp this summer. breaks down each players chances at making it in the NFL.

Caleb Campbell

Yes, Campbell made for one of the best stories at the NFL draft, but that's not why the Lions drafted him.

This is why: " You draft (Campbell) for all the right reasons," Detroit president Matt Millen said. "First and foremost, he's a good football player and second of all he's what you are looking for in terms of football character. Detroit will convert Campbell from strong safety to outside linebacker, that's something many NFL teams talked to him about. He could also return to the safety position and play special teams. Millen and the Lions like Campbell's versatility. "He's a safety and a backer," Millen said. "He runs well and is a good tackler. He's a tough kid and a smart kid. He's what you are looking for. He is a special teams guy. He can play a backer (spot) which is what we are looking for first, but he can also play pretty good in space." Campbell should fit in with Detroit in some capacity and make the team. Maybe as a back-up linebacker and on special teams. That's not a bad place to start.

Mike Viti

At Army, Viti thrived on one-on-one competition. Blocking the lights out of defenders. It's funny how things work out.

Viti is expected to make it through mini-camp and than would battle Jonathan Evans for the back-up role. Evans, a second-year player out of Baylor, is a journeyman. He has spent time with Dallas, San Diego and Tennessee. Evans was signed to Buffalo's practice squad after being released by the Titans last November.

Darian Barnes, another journeyman, is Buffalo's starter. New Bill's offensive coordinator Turk Schonert has re-introduced the fullback to Buffalo's offense and Viti thinks he can fit in. "I feel that what I can bring to the table certainly suits what the Buffalo Bills envision doing with their offense," Viti said. "Hopefully, I'm able to prove that through these camps and through the season."

Added Doug Majeski, Buffalo's director of scouting: "He's a good blocker between the tackles. Viti's a classic isolation fullback that will go up there and hit somebody in line." Viti will likely need to beat out Evans to make the team and that certainly appears possible. If not, the practice squad could be an option.

Owen Tolson

Tolson isn't going to beat out veteran punter Jeff Feagles and he isn't going to beat out kicker Lawrence Tynes, the hero in the Giants' NFC championship win at Green Bay. Tolson could, possibly, serve as the Super Bowl champs' kickoff man, but it's rare that NFL teams keep a kickoff man. But with Tolson's versatility - he can punt, kick field goals and do kickoffs - there could very well be a place for him on the practice squad. He could develop and, possibly, fill in if Feagles or Tynes is injured.

Keep in mind, Giants coach Tom Coughlin and his staff have a respect for Army and West Point. Tolson will get a shot. He may end up being a practice squad player.

Jeremy Trimble

Trimble is the longshot of the bunch. He goes to Kansas City this weekend with no contract and there are no guarantees.

But given a shot, Trimble might be able to be a possession receiver in the NFL. He is a dangerous punt returner and could play special teams. Trimble has all the qualities Campbell, Viti and Tolson have.

He's, among other things, smart, tough and a competitor. Top Stories