ND offer validates Campbell
Campbell camped with the coaching staff at Irish Invasion and turned in a strong performance. But no scholarship offer materialized at the time, so the cornerback from St. Louis used it as motivation heading into his junior season.
“It wasn’t disappointing,” Campbell said. “It just motivated me to work even harder because the coaches really had nothing bad to say. They just said to keep working, so that’s what I did. It motivated me to get better and got me to the point I am right now.”
Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Northwestern and Purdue had offered Campbell coming into this week. Kansas State, Missouri and Ohio State are among those interested.
Notre Dame came back around to Campbell on Wednesday through Bob Elliott, who’s expected to shift into an administrative role this offseason. Elliott moved the Irish from interested to a potential college destination with the scholarship offer.
Finding out the news during school gave Campbell and an extra bounce in his step.
“I had just gotten done with a French test and was tired,” Campbell said. “I went to the bathroom and my phone buzzed. I saw that and just started telling all my friends. They were just congratulating me, so it was really nice. I was really exciting.”
Campbell viewed the new offer as a sort of benchmark for his development since Irish Invasion back in June.
“I think the thing I did this year more was, because people didn’t really throw me the ball this year, I really showed them I’m a better tackler than I was a year ago,” he said. “I had way more tackles, a lot of deflections. I was just showing I’m always near the ball making plays and being a nuisance. I’m still a ballhawk, still had six interceptions. But definitely my tackling was better on this year’s tape.”
Next up as it relates to Notre Dame is a tentative plan to visit March 21 for junior day. Campbell could push that back a week if the Chaminade Prep basketball team makes it all the way to the state championship.
Campbell teams with five-star small forward Jayson Tatum on the basketball team.
Whenever the visit goes down, Campbell wants to connect with new defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and watch spring practice.
“Definitely I want to meet coach Lyght after talking on the phone with him and more of the coaching stuff,” Campbell said. “Then just get a real picture of what it would be like to play there. It’ll be during spring practice. Really get a vibe of them working out and the overall experience of being at Notre Dame knowing you could play football there. That would be different.”