Practice Tour: Curtis Campbell

CHESAPEAKE, Va. --- Despite all of his athletic abilities -- speed, size, and strength -- it's Curtis Campbell's leadership qualities that Grassfield High School will be counting on this season.

"His role is pretty big as far as senior leadership goes," head coach Martin Asprey said. "We expect him to come out here and lead. Really, his most important position is his leadership qualities."

Last year, Grassfield's entire high school included seven seniors. Two of those seniors played football, but only one had a significant role.

Asprey says his team has quality talent two-deep at every position – something high school coaches strive for but rarely attain. If he can get senior leadership, expectations are high.

"Our expectations are a winning season, we compete for the playoffs, and we're going for the southeastern district championship – that's our goal," Asprey said.

Campbell, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who has committed to North Carolina, agrees.

"With the team we have this year, I think we have a chance to actually compete for a district title," Campbell said. "… I think we can really do something with our team, especially our offense. I think we have a lot of weapons on our offense to get the job done. We have a lot of speed."

Last season during the practice week heading into the fourth game, Campbell sustained a hip pointer. He returned in time for the ninth game of the season, but only played in five contests.

"First off, I just want to play all ten games – that's my main goal," Campbell said. "I just want to be injury free all the way through."

This fall, Grassfield switches to a 4-4 defense, a formation that consists of one safety that acts like a centerfielder. Campbell, who played both free and strong safety last year, will man the lone safety position.

"I'm really playing coverages and making sure we don't get beat deep," Campbell said. "But I will lay the wood."

"We basically say ‘Hey look, you have great speed and can play the field,'" Asprey said. "And [at the free safety position] we need a guy who can run things down and fill the alley."

Offensively, Campbell will start at tailback, but he'll be a part of a constantly rotating three-running back committee in Grassfield's multiple I offense.

"I can be in there any time, but [I'm in] mostly when it's spreading out in pro formation so that I can get to the sideline and do what I can to do in space," Campbell said.

When on the field offensively, whether he touches the ball or not, Asprey expects Campbell to make an impact on the play.

"My philosophy is you take what the defense gives you and you dictate to the defense what you want to do," Asprey said. "When he's in the game, we know he attracts attention. Sometimes we use him as something into the play where he's doing something and we're going to run something off of it or sometimes we're just going to give him the ball and say ‘Hey, you're our horse, let's see what you can do.'"

Although he is known for his track speed, Asprey says Campbell is just as likely to run through a defender as he is to blow by him.

"He's hard -- he's a very hardnosed runner," Asprey said. "He's got great speed, great balance, and he's looking to run you over."

Curtis Campbell Profile

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