Jordan Campbell Finds a Home on Defense

After starting his career as a fullback, Jordan Campbell finds satisfaction on the defense. Campbell was a highly regarded linebacker in high school. SCPlaybook catches up with Campbell to discuss his adjustment to the linebacking corps.

Jordan Campbell Finds a Home on Defense

Campbell Feels Comfortable with Change

Jordan Campbell who played on both sides of the ball in high school, came to USC as a fullback. Half way through the 2007 season he switched to linebacker. Campbell talks about the transition and his experience of moving to defense.

How is the transition thus far? "Spring is going real well, I'm back out here on defense. I'm picking up the defensive playbook, a lot of film and a lot of one-on-one with coach Norton. It's going good, everything is a lot better. Defense is just the side of the ball I'd rather play on."

Is he satisfied with the switch? "Everything's going good and I'm definitely not going back to offense. I'm a linebacker for sure, I'm happy with the switch and I can only get better at the position."

"I'm looking at playing weak side linebacker but I'm learning all of the positions. Just to know it all really helps."

"You're playing with the best of the best, they're All-Americans, like Keith Rivers last year and Kaluka Maiava this year, if you have to sit a few years like a lot of guys did, but now they're at the next level. So I plan on just waiting my time, get as much playing time as I can right now, get some experience and become a veteran."

How many years of eligibility will he have? "I red-shirted last year so I'll have four years left. A lot of linebackers will leave next year so it's a good opportunity. All three starters are leaving; Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Kaluka Maiava. Clay Matthews will be graduating too. It will be wide open, the new guys will be coming in, and Chris Galippo, Malcolm Smith and I will be the veterans. Galippo and I red-shirted and Malcolm played last year."

"It's fun, being with these guys, the core group I'm with, I think we'll have fun the next few years. They rotate the linebackers a lot, a lot of switching and rotating. Guys will play certain packages that fit them best. I'm happy to be here, it's a big difference."

About playing for Ken Norton Jr. "Coach Norton is a coach that won't let you ‘slack,' he's on you all the time, but that's what I need is a coach that will push you to be the best and that's exactly what coach Norton does."

"Coach Norton said ‘if you know the playbook you'll be on the field,' so I'm just studying the playbook. Doing a lot of one-on-one time and studying film by myself, getting comfortable with the defense, repeating it to myself so I will ‘have it down' I still am learning the defense, I can't fly 100% to the ball like I did in high school. So I am just getting to know the defensive playbook so I can come out here and play fast."

Academic progress."Right now, I'm taking a lot of general education classes; I don't have a major yet. I'm knocking out my ‘general ed' classes, it's going well and my grades are fine. I'm just looking at getting my first year of college done and I'm happy my grades stayed ‘up.' It'll get a lot harder, but it's going well."

On-the-field progress. "I'm getting a feel of the defense, the linebackers and the defensive backs, the defensive line; it's just getting to know everybody. To understand what everyone's thinking and everybody as a group, everyone's pushing each other to be the best. It's all I can ask for, to get that chance to be over there."


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