Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

Kyree Campbell's former high school coach at Woodbridge (Va.), Coach Gary Wortham, provides some insight into Florida's newest commit

Kyree Campbell's former high school coach at Woodbridge (Va.), Coach Gary Wortham, discusses Campbell's journey to Florida and what the Gators are getting in the defensive tackle.

Earlier this week it looked like Kyree Campbell was deciding between Penn State, Pittsburgh, James Madison and Temple. However, the defensive tackle surprised everyone by picking Florida on Saturday during his visit, surprising even his former high school coach at Woodbridge High, Gary Wortham. 

"I'm very surprised at the whole process," said Wortham ,who has been involved with Campbell recruitment."I'm happy for Kyree. I'm happy for him to play college football and to get a free education."

Although not expected, Wortham understands the reason behind Campbell's quick decision.

"He wanted to be in school in January," he said. "I think thats why he took the opportunity so fast." 

Campbell went through some adversity before fulfilling his dream at playing at the next level. Last February, the defensive tackle signed with North Carolina. But Campbell was denied admission in the summer after not having enough credits. With help from his high school coach, Campbell found himself at Wyoming Seminary College Prep School. 

"He has learned a lot being away from home at the prep school. He learned how to study better and it panned out for him academically. All his classes he took, he made the dean's list, and he got the appropriate SAT score," said Wortham. "He experienced good things; played good football; and it panned out for him so he can save his four years of college." 

Wortham credits Wyoming Seminary's head coach Kevin Kelly in helping Campbell turn things around. 

"Coach Kelly is probably the best angel in Kyree's life right now,"he said. "Bringing him to Sem and giving him the opportunity to reclaim his four years of eligibility rather than being stuck last year and being pushed to go to JUCO was big." 

According to Wortham, these past few months has also allowed Campbell to mature. 

"He was just exposed to the business side of college coaching and recruiting. I think with that itself, he learned a lot from that. But like I said his Sem opportunity gave him time to soak in a lot of things. Just thankful that opportunity came about." 

His time in Pennsylvania, not only helped Campbell in the classroom, but also helped him mature as a player. 

"He has taken what we have given him playing for us, and he has turned it into a craft," said Wortham. "He has taken the time to study it well, and he has a passion to play defensive tackle style football. He just carried things over with him to Sem and just had another season in prep to take all his tools and put them together." 

What's Campbell's biggest strength? 

"He commands the run game, controlling the line of scrimmage. He is a very intense guy."

Fightin Gators Top Stories