Navy expects big year from Reggie Campbell

Former USC star Reggie Bush got all the attention during last year's bowl season, and rightfully so, he won the Heisman Trophy. But at least our Reggie (Campbell) held on to the ball during Navy's 51-30 Poinsettia Bowl win over Colorado State last December. No laterals that turned into fumbles and changed the complexion of the game (see last year's national championship) from our Reggie.

Just some good old-fashioned speed burning. Campbell's big night in San Diego against Colorado State made him a star. Or, at least, one in the making.

Expect a big year from the junior slot back this fall.

"Reggie is just a great player," said Navy fullback Matt Hall. "If you want one player with the ball and the game on the line, it's Reggie. I'll take my chances with him any time." And why not?

Campbell has developed a knack for the big play. His 40-yard run with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter against Air Force last year tied the game 24-24. Navy went on to win 27-24. Campbell broke a 54-yard touchdown run versus Army. But it was performance on the warm night in San Diego that got him mentioned in the same sentence as former NFL great Barry Sanders. In one of the most spectacular performances in bowl history, Campbell smoked Colorado State for 290 all-purpose yards (116 rushing, 89 receiving, 85 return yards) and five touchdowns. The five touchdowns tied an NCAA bowl game record set four other times.

That list included Sanders himself. He put up five scores for Oklahoma State against Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl. Campbell was named to the CBS Sportsline All-Bowl Team, the All-Bowl Team, the All-Bowl Team and the College Football News All-Bowl Team.

So what does Campbell do for an encore? Stay tuned. Navy opens the season on Sept. 2 against East Carolina.

Nobody expects Campbell, who is 5-foot-6, 165 pounds, to score five more touchdowns and he doesn't need to. The Midshipmen have plenty of options on offense.

Still, Campbell is always going to be a factor. On the field and off of it. Campbell is one of the guys that keeps his teammates loose.

But Campbell knows when to step up and be a motivator. He showed that once again in the Poinsettia Bowl. Top Stories