Tiger Quarterback Honored For Play Vs. Arkansas

Auburn, Ala.--Quarterback Jason Campbell was named the Cingular/ABC Sports All-America Player of the Week on Monday as well as SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Auburn's 38-20 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Campbell passed for a career high 297 yards and completed 17 of 19 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The quarterback won the award in a vote by fans from around the country. He joins Purdue's Kyle Orton (twice), Texas Tech's Sonny Crumbie, Georgia's David Greene and Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson as players who have earned the honor this season.

Jason Campbell led the Tigers to a key SEC West victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

The strong statistical game for Campbell moved him to fourth in the country in passing efficiency at 180.4, only 1.1 points behind the nation's leader, Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo. Campbell is also averaging 10 yards per attempt, which is second only to Stefan Lefors of Louisville.

"I haven't looked at it but I had heard about it," Campbell says of his stats. "I've got goals set and I'm still trying to reach those by the end of the year like team goals, as long as we continue winning. I've just got to continue to stay focused."

Campbell, who was often criticized for his play in the past, has been receiving national attention as the leader of an Auburn football team that is in the Top 5 in the major polls for the first time since 1994.

"I try not to pay attention to a lot of it, but it means a lot," he says. "At the same time I have to continue to keep working. As a team we still need to get better and better. As long as we keep that attitude then we will continue down the right way.

"I get comments from people coming up to me after the game telling me that they have always believed in me," he says. "I just keep the faith and continue trusting God. That's the main thing that got me to where I am now, just keeping the faith and knowing that God is going to bring me through all of this."

Campbell has had his best season with a new offensive system put in by new offensive coordinator and QB coach Al Borges.

As a freshman and sophomore, Campbell split starting duties under center with Daniel Cobb. As a junior, Campbell was the full-time starter for Auburn and says that having a full season to play without another quarterback looking over his shoulder helped him to play at the level he is at now.

During his first three seasons, he was often criticized by the fans and media when the Tigers weren't playing like a Top 5 team.

"I used to hear it a lot," Campbell says. "I never heard it going to class though. Most of it came from the summer magazines and then the fans would take it and go with it.

"I never complained because I always knew the situation," he adds. "Playing quarterback in the SEC--when everything is fine and dandy--they want to talk positive. But if you mess up a couple of games or the whole team isn't clicking on all cylinders, they blame the quarterback like he plays all 22 positions on the football field. I just take it and laugh at it."

Campbell attributes most of his perseverance to his family life. "It was tough on my mom more than anything," he says. "My dad is a strong person. He is a coach so he understood the situation and my brother understood the situation.

"It was tough for my sister and my mother," Campbell adds. "I used to have to calm my mom down. She would hear stuff in the stands and I told her to just keep her composure. I just think having a strong family background has been tremendous."

On the year, the fifth-year senior has completed 92 of 136 passes, good for 67.7 percent. Despite not throwing many passes in the second half of games this season, Campbell has thrown for 1,363 yards and 13 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

The SEC Player of the Week honor is the second of Campbell's career. He won it last month after directing the game-winning drive in Auburn's victory over LSU.

Auburn's next opponent, the 1-5 Kentucky Wildcats, will visit Jordan-Hare Stadium for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. The Wildcats are 0-3 in league play and there is no television coverage scheduled for the game.

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