Player Spotlight: Evan Campbell

The doors at Staley High School in northern Kansas City, Mo. were just opened for the 2008-09 school year. The Falcons went 11-1 last year in Class 4 District 15 play under the guidance of head coach Fred Bouchard. They move up to Division 5 status in the Suburban- Small 6 League for the 2010 season. Bouchard will look to senior Evan Campbell to set up his game for the jump in class.

Evan Campbell, a 5-7, 165 running back, is coming off a highly productive junior year where he rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns in 12 games. He's been garnering interest from Big 12 programs like Iowa State, Nebraska, and Kansas State, as well as Bowling Green, Wyoming, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, and Northern Iowa.

"Kansas State is a place I've been too three times now," said Campbell. "I was at their spring game this year as well as a Junior Day in February. It was nice to get a chance to meet legendary Coach Bill Snyder. I also got a chance to speak with Dell Miller, who's a very cool guy."

"Iowa State is looking at me for running back. I liked it in Ames. I got a chance to talk a lot with (Defensive G.A.) Ben Barkema. We toured the campus. I think they're a team on the rise in the Big 12.

"My trip to Nebraska was unreal," Campbell said of his trip to Lincoln. "It was like nothing I'd ever seen before from the stadium, to the facilities, to the noted tradition of the program."

Campbell is waiting on his first scholarship offer. Two schools really high on him include Bowling Green and North Dakota State.

"Bowling Green likes me on special teams, kickoff and punt returner and in the slot," said Campbell. "It was a good trip. I had never been to Ohio. I spoke to special teams coach, Adam Scheier, and then went on to tour the campus. They're in the MAC. It's a good school with new facilities."

Campbell was named to 2nd team All-State as a junior by the Coaches and 2nd team All- KC Metro. The Offensive Player of the Year in his League, Campbell was also named 1st team All-Northland. Although the Falcons jump in class they will play some familiar foes including Granview. Campbell torched the Bulldogs for 278 yards as a sophomore, then put 160 on them last year as a junior.

"My goal as a senior is to try and reach the 2,000 yard plateau and to improve on my receiving. Last year I had five touchdowns receiving, this year I hope to have 10-plus. Our only loss last year came in the sectionals against a bigger 5A school, Kearney. Now we're in 5A and will have to up our games to make the transition."

The Falcons will try to get the ball in Campbell's hands as much as possible to take advantage of his breakaway speed.

"At the Bowling Green camp I ran a 4.35 40," said Campbell. "I can catch the ball, block. Just because I'm small doesn't mean I can't play physical. I like to use my speed to break through a hole and get to the outside."

With North Dakota State showing so much interest, Campbell plans to try and make a camp up there before the end of summer. Then he'll go in and prepare himself for a big senior season at Staley which could land him multiple offers if all goes well.

"I'd like to go to a school with a good coaching staff where I can come in and fit in at either the running back or slot position," Campbell said. "I don't mind distance, but hopefully not somewhere super far away."

Campbell also plays point guard on the varsity basketball team and runs track (the 4x1 and 4x2) at Staley. He reports a 3.3 GPA in his classwork.

On the gridiron you can catch him wearing No. 5 for the Falcons. They play their first game of the year August 27th against Raytown.

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