Campbell MVP, Cadillac Watches At Senior Bowl

Comments from South MVP Jason Campbell and Carnell Williams are featured in a report on the four Auburn football players at the Senior Bowl.

Mobile, Ala.—-Auburn entered the week with four players scheduled to take part in Saturday's Senior Bowl for the South squad, but that number dropped to three on Tuesday with a hamstring injury to Carlos Rogers and it dropped again on Saturday afternoon as Carnell Williams was noticeably absent from any action after the first two plays of the game.

"I strained my back earlier in the week and I fought hard through it all week and the team doctors just kind of felt like it would be best for me not to play with it," Williams explained following the contest. "It was real disappointing because I worked hard all week just to prepare myself to come out here and put on a show on Saturday, but my back stiffened up and things like that so things didn't go as I thought they would."

Even with the frustration of not being able to play in the game, Williams said the he felt like he had accomplished what he set out to do by participating in the Senior Bowl. "Yeah, I think so because I came to show these teams that there are a lot of things that I can do other than running with the football," he explained. "I can also catch it and do a lot of other different things."

Carnell Williams had a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl and will likely be an early first round draft pick in April.

Despite Williams' absence, Auburn fans still got to see Jason Campbell and Junior Rosegreen suit up for the South team that dropped a 23-13 decision to the North squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Campbell put on a good show for sellout crowd of 40,646 as he completed 9-13 passes for 116 yards and added a 10-yard rush for 126 total yards, which was enough to lead the South team and be named South team Offensive MVP.

It has been fun," Campbell said about his Senior Bowl experience. "I enjoyed being here. Coach Gruden and his staff are great coaches. I feel like I helped myself and I just enjoyed the whole Mobile area. It was fun to have an opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl."

Campbell said earlier in the week that he felt like he had answered some questions about his draft status with his work during the practice sessions and added after the game that he believes his performance on Saturday continued the trend of his improvement.

"I feel like I have been doing it for a while now," he said about answering questions about his game. "The only thing I can do now is just to relax and just chill and wait to see what is going to happen."

The talented quarterback adds that all of the waiting until April could be tough because he has already been waiting for that day for a number of years. "It is exciting, this is a dream come true," he said about being on the verge of being drafted into the NFL. "This is all I have dreamed about. It has been a while. It has been a long time that I have dreamed of this."

Jason Campbell had a very impressive week at the Senior Bowl and that really helped raise his draft stock.

Along with Campbell's award winning performance, Junior Rosegreen also saw extensive action for a South defense that had some trouble containing the North's offensive attack in the second half.

Despite the team's trouble against the North, Rosegreen played well on the afternoon, excluding one mental mistake.

Rosegreen let Stanford's Alex Smith run by him with under two minutes left in the second quarter, which led to a 40-yard gain and the North's first score four plays later.

The safety, who was credited with one and a half tackles in the game, was also the victim of a bad pass interference call on a play that he appeared to knock the ball cleanly away from Smith inside the red zone. However, he was called for that penalty and the North went on to score its final touchdown of the game on that drive.

Campbell led the South to the first scoring drive of the game and its only one of the first half. The 6-4, 221 QB connected on 3-6 passes on the South's second drive and added a 10-yard run inside the red zone to put his team in position for Ole Miss' Jonathan Nichols to kick a 29-yard field goal to give the South the lead 3-0 with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter.

Following that the North tied the all-star contest at 3-3 after Rosgreen's one mental mistake of the day led to a 25-yard Mike Nugent field goal with under a minute to go in the half.

Then, instead of taking a three all tie into the locker room, Fred Gibson fumbled the ensuing kickoff right back to the North squad and that allowed Nugent to kick a 36-yard field goal with time running out in the half to give the North a 6-3 lead.

The North struck first again in the second half as after a three and out series from the South to open the second half, the North got the offense rolling as Kansas State mighty mite Darren Sproles broke off a 24-yard touchdown run to cap an eight play, 58-yard drive to give the North a 13-3 lead.

The North stretched the lead out to 13 points on a 41-yard Nugent field goal, his third of the day, with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter following a six play 44-yard drive that started after the North defense stopped the South on fourth and one just outside the 30-yard line.

Then, after David Greene and Brock Berlin each had two series at quarterback, Campbell got back into the game with 34 seconds left in the third, which was his first action since the first quarter, and led the South on another scoring drive.

Campbell seemed unaffected by the long break and came out throwing. He hit Georgia's Reggie Brown, who led the South in receiving with 65 yards on five catches, for a nine-yard strike. On the drive, Campbell completed 4-5 passes for 37 yards of a 50-yard drive that pulled the Tigers' to within 10 at 16-6 with 10:49 remaining.

The North and South each added late touchdowns to make the final score 23-13. The game's overall MVP was Akron quarterback Charlie Frye, who was 10-12 passing for 138 yards and a touchdown. The North Offensive MVP was Sproles, who rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown on six carries. The Defensive MVPs were Clemson's Leroy Hill for the South and Oregon State's Bill Swancutt for the North.


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