St. Vincent-St. Mary senior sprinter Parris Campbell spent Friday afternoon blowing past competitors at Ohio State's Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. It won't be long before he's doing the same thing less than a mile away at Ohio Stadium.
The class of 2014 signee showed why he was regarded by Scout.com as one of the best prep running backs in nation, finishing second in his heat of the 100-meter dash prelims and running the anchor leg on prelim victories in the 4x100- and 4x200-meter relays. In the span of less than an hour on a hot summer day, he had put himself in Saturday's finals for all three events.
He opened the day by crossing the line in the 100-meter dash in 10.75 seconds to finish second and then ran the relays immediately after. With boys and girls events alternating, the three events Campbell competed in were run back-to-back-to-back.
"I felt OK," he said of his individual event performance. "It wasn't as good of a prelim as I wanted it to be, but I'm fine with it."
Campbell hopes to take home three gold medals on Saturday, but after that his focus will completely shift to the gridiron. His days as a three-sport star (football, basketball and track) for the Irish will be over and for the first time he'll be able to concentrate on just one sport.
"It won't be such a workload on my body," he said. "It's still going to be hard, don't get me wrong, but I feel like I'll have more energy to focus on one sport."
He knows what he'll be getting into when he arrives thanks to conversations with Ohio State early enrollees such as Raekwon McMillan, Johnnie Dixon and Curtis Samuel. The trio has assured him that he'll be in for a rough few weeks but also told him once he gets acclimated he'll be fine.
Although Campbell is just 16 years old (he skipped kindergarten because of his high reading level) and many assumed that he'd redshirt due to his age, he said the Ohio State coaching staff told him that he's capable of seeing the field this fall. If he does, it will be at a different position than the one he was recruited at, though.
While he was rated by Scout as the No. 14 running back in the country, the Buckeyes have already decided to move him to slot receiver for the time being.
"I'm perfectly fine with it," Campbell said. "Wherever they want to put me on the field, if I'm going to be playing, I'll play it."
Campbell reports on June 15 and will begin classes one day later.