KELLY CAMPBELL GOES DEEP WITH DA STING

Today we bring you the first of many indepth interviews at Da Sting. Kelly Campbell shared with us his thoughts on not turning pro. And on leading the Yellow Jackets past Florida State as well as how important winning it all means to him.Find out why Kelly wants to be an inspiration to other inner city athletes who may feel that Georgia Tech is too tough academically. And he shares his thoughts on the Heisman race and where he sees himself. The Nations leading receiver last year with an ......

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average of 18.9 yards per play. Kelly is a two-time all-conference receiver who is Tech's career leader in touchdown receptions while ranking second in career receptions and receiving yards . . . Candidate for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver . . . The fastest player on the Rambling Wreck squad . . . Preseason third-team all-America and first-team all-ACC by Athlon Sports . . . His 21 career receiving touchdowns has far surpassed the previous Tech record of 14 . . . Ranks second in Tech history in career receptions (139) and receiving yards (2,199), trailing Harvey Middleton (165 receptions, 2,291 yards) in both categories . . . Has seven 100-yard games in his career . . . Ranks seventh in Tech history in all-purpose yards (3,103) . . . Has scored 24 touchdowns in his career, more than any Yellow Jacket except Robert Lavette (46, 1981-84), Jerry Mays (28, 1985-89) and Eddie Lee Ivery (26, 1975-78) . . . Has enjoyed two of the top seasons in Tech history the last two years, averaging 64 receptions, 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns . . . Career average of 24.6 yards on kickoff returns.

2000: All-conference selection for the second straight year, earning second-team all-ACC honors at both receiver and specialist . . . Tech's leading receiver with 59 catches for 963 yards . . . Ranked second in the ACC in receptions per game and third in receiving yards per game . . . Tied the school record he set last season with 10 touchdown receptions . . . Also scored two rushing touchdowns . . . Carried the ball four times, including touchdown runs of 41 and 50 yards . . . Ranked fourth in the ACC and 17th nationally with a 24.3-yard average on kickoff returns . . . Averaged 152.9 all-purpose yards per game (2nd ACC/16th NCAA) and led the nation with an average of 18.9 yards every time he touched the football . . . Named Tech's Most Outstanding Receiver. Tied the Georgia Tech single-game record with 14 catches in the Yellow Jackets' 31-28 win at fourth-ranked Clemson (tied with Robert Lavette vs. Notre Dame, 1989; Steve Harkey vs. Clemson, 1970; John Sias vs. Navy, 1968) . . . Had a career-best 209 yards receiving, the fourth-best game in school history . . . Caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from George Godsey with 6:52 to play . . . That was his third straight 100-yard game . . . Caught five passes for 147 yards against Wake Forest, including touchdown receptions of 53 and 35 yards . . . His first score against the Deacons was the 15th of his career to break the Tech record . . . Scored two touchdowns against Duke on a 47-yard reception and a 41-yard option run . . . Totalled six catches for 127 yards against the Blue Devils.

DA STING: The main question that everyone wants to know is what made you come back to Tech for your Senior year?

Kelly Campbell: "I really came back to make myself better, I wasn't at the level that I felt I  needed to play in the pros. It wasn't just about a paycheck for me. Everyone at the Professional level can really play so I wanted to work on my quick game and get a little stronger. When I look at our team and what we have coming back, I honestly think we have a legitimate shot at the National Championship."

DA STING: Where were most scouts projecting you to be picked?

Kelly Campbell: "The highest I was projected was the second round and lowest was the fourth. Most scouts felt that I had already done enough at Tech, to the point were if I ran a sub 4.40 forty yard dash at the combine. I would have easily gone in the second round."

DA STING: The last time you guys played Florida State at Doak Campbell stadium. You showed a tremendous amount of heart playing the second half with a fractured jaw and making two touchdown catches. What will it take to finally get over the Florida State hump?

Kelly Campbell: "Well in the past years I fill like we've done a good job of playing with them. They know we can play with them, but now we have got to see ourselves winning this game. We can't take the field hoping to win, we have to take the field knowing we can win.  We're working hard to beat them and we will get it done this year. It will be another good battle!!!"

DA STING: How do you feel about the Preseason Accolades you've been receiving?

Kelly Campbell: "The awards and honors are nice but that's not going to go to my head. I came back to finish a job on the field, if I take care of business then the honors will come. We win and lose as a team, so every honor I receive will be because of my teammates efforts as well. But I'm grateful for them and I'm thankful."

DA STING: What are your thoughts on winning the Heisman this year?

Kelly Campbell: "Based on the past years when a receiver has won it. It was all about hype and National exposure. If our team takes care of business on the field the exposure should be there. No player from Tech has ever won it so it would be like a dream come true for me."

DA STING: How are you doing academically, and what are you majoring in?

Kelly Campbell: "My major is Business Management and I'm doing pretty good. Last semester I had a 2.8 grade point average so things are coming along. It's hard work but you have to do it, the one thing that keeps me focused is in order to get to the next level you have to be eligible. So I know that means go to class and get my work."

DA STING: What advice what you have for recruits that are in the inner cities that may be looking at Georgia Tech?

Kelly Campbell: "Well the first thing I tell them is don't pay attention to the colleges that tell you how tough it is at Tech to get your degree. Tech is no different from any other school from the standpoint of support. I let them  know that they can do it, Tech will offer them all the help they need from tutors to the different Professors. If you go to class and truly study your coaches will be there for you as well and you can make it."

DA STING: What type of goals have you set for your senior year?

Kelly Campbell: "The only goals I have are to improve on all my numbers from last year. Try to get my degree on time and win the National Championship."

 


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