Mich. Makes Strong Case for Campbell (Part 2)

(Part 2 of 4) In part two of GoBlueWolverine's in-depth feature on Detroit Cass Tech lineman William Campbell's official visit to Michigan last weekend, the youngster's mother (who accompanied him on the trip) shares her thoughts on the non-football aspects of Michigan, her impressions of the coaching staff, and more.

Sam Webb:  I want to pick up where we left off when I talked to you a couple of months ago when you said that you were interested in finding out more about the non-football side of these schools.  How did you go about finding out that information at Michigan?

Ola Campbell:  "I took notes, I asked questions and I listened.  All you have to do is open up your ears and listen.  I took notes while I was up there this time.  The main thing I wanted to know would he have the necessary help that anybody needs, not just athletes… but any students needs to get to his degree.  That's what I wanted to know.  I did my own little short hand.  The study group, the tutor service, can the early (enrollees) get even … more help as far as tutoring… I wanted to know that.  I wanted to know about the study tables.  I asked the questions.  I may have gotten on a few people's nerves but they didn't act like it (laughing)."

Sam Webb:  You say you asked questions… who were the people you were asking questions of?

Ola Campbell:  "I grilled Coach Dews and Rodriguez.  Coach Dews, he was a major help.  He was a major help because every question I had…remember I told you had a list of questions, he answered them and he answered them in detail.  He answered in detail all of the questions that I had and I put the same ones to Rodriguez, because sometimes you've got to repeat what you mean… that way I know everybody is on the same page.  The questions that I had of them, they answered thoroughly.  The questions I had for the players were a little different.  I wanted to know was all this stuff (about the academic support) true.  One of the players was like, ‘Ms. Campbell, I need a tutor in everything.  Not only do they offer it, they expect it and demand that you maintain your grade.  I know it doesn't happen so much no more, but it is just stuff that I heard about schools letting their athletes slip by, and I don't want that.  I want my son to learn.  I don't want anybody doing papers for him.  I want him to do his own."

Sam Webb:  Now that you've had a chance to spend some extended time with the coaches,  what kind of vibe do you get from them?

Ola Campbell:  "It's so positive.  It's so positive.  I felt comfortable up there.  I feel comfortable talking to them.  I feel like I'm…I don't even know the words that I'm looking for.  Like I said I asked questions over and over.  I asked them to different people and I asked them over and over…  and I didn't feel like I was inconveniencing them.  I felt like that with a certain other school… I'm not mentioning any names… but I did.  I felt like I was taking up (that school's time) and I don't want to feel like that

Sam Webb:  One of the guys that you talked about when we were talking before was Brandon Graham.  What was it about Brandon that impressed you so much?

Ola Campbell:  "I've got a 20-year-old that doesn't want to talk to me (laughter).  You know what I'm saying.  It didn't feel like that with Brandon.  He actually wanted to talk to me.  I found that in Darryl (Stonum) from Texas.  I didn't feel like I was taking up there time or that they wanted to be someplace else."

Sam Webb:  What did Will think of the visit?

Ola Campbell:  "Well he told me he liked it.  He talks to me, I'm so glad.  He said that he enjoyed it very much.  But he always enjoys it when he goes to UM.  He has been up there several times.  He never had anything bad to say about them, ever.  He enjoyed the whole process and he knows a lot of people up there.  Boubacar Cissoko is up there.  He's wonderful and my son went to school with him.  There are a lot of kids from Detroit there.  They're people he played with PAL ball up there. 

"Ms. Shari (Acho)… she impressed me.  Actually I thought she was over (all sports), but later I found out that she is just there for those football players. So she has been dealing with them, she knows them and she knows what they need and what they require.  Some of them can be very bullheaded, and my son is one (laughing).  My son also sets goals for himself and I've not known him yet to not reach one of them."

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