Huskies could add JUCO DT to '13 class

It's been a long and arduous journey for East Los Angeles DT Demetrius Campbell (6-4, 290). After finishing up his sophomore campaign with ELAC, he sort of fell off the radar, but it wasn't because schools didn't want him. Now, his patience appears to be close to paying off and he could be joining Washington's football program this summer if things go as planned...

As a prep, Campbell was a highly recruited prospect out of Lakeland, Florida where he signed with West Virginia. However, things didn't go as smoothly as he'd hoped and he decided to head west to continue his football career.

"I signed with West Virginia, but I didn't qualify and that sorta set me back," Campbell told "Basically, I decided to head to College of the Canyons to keep playing and I was there as a freshman (in 2011), but after the season I started to feel like I wasn't going to get the looks from the top schools there, so I decided to come here to East L.A. and I played here last year and I had a bunch of offers starting last March and then going all the way through the season up until Signing Day back in February."

In all, Campbell said he had offers from 27 schools including his four top schools (West Virginia, Baylor, Kansas State and Arkansas) as well as other schools from the Big 12, Big 10, SEC and Big East.

"It was all there for me and I really had a lot of schools calling me and liking what I could do, but things started to go downhill for me personally and I sorta dropped off the face of the earth for a little while, while I dealt with some personal stuff," Campbell said. "I shut down my email, my Twitter and my Facebook. I just didn't talk to anyone. I didn't want to deal with recruiting and a lot of schools just felt like I wasn't interested in them, so they sorta just bailed on me.

"I was homeless. I was sleeping in the locker room and staying with friends when I could. I was doing whatever I could to make things work.

"Then when I got back and was able to focus again, people all thought I was an academics guy, you know, that I couldn't qualify, so they sorta dropped off too. Eventually I wasn't really able to sign with anyone because they had all moved on."

According to Campbell, one thing that forced Big Ten and SEC schools to fall by the wayside was the fact that he had taken several on-line courses that would keep him from qualifying for their respective schools.

"I'm a good student and that hasn't changed," Campbell said. "I got all of my classes done and I'll be graduating in the next six weeks, but for them, they were like 'you can't sign with us because we can't accept on-line classes' so they sorta gave up on me."

As it is, what is everyone else's loss could wind up being Washington's gain.

"Coach (Keith) Heyward was recruiting me all the way through the fall, but then he was honest with me and he said they were looking more for a D-end and not a three-tech (defensive tackle), so he wanted me to know they liked me, but at that point, they were going to move on," Campbell said. "I really appreciated his honesty and I kept his number in my phone. He told me they may come back at me later on and so I kept it. Then, after Signing Day and when they saw I hadn't signed with anyone, I contacted coach (Peter) Sirmon and he said they were interested in me again and he wanted to go through all my transcripts and see if I could get in. They even went back and got my high school transcripts, so they were really thorough and things have sorta progressed from there."

In addition to his initial conversation with Sirmon, Campbell has spoken again with Heyward as well as defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi and head coach Steve Sarkisian who all have let him know he is the only player they are still looking at for the 2013 class.

"Coach Heyward said that I'm the only guy on their board and coach Lupoi told me he's really excited to get me up there and to meet me in person," Campbell said. "Coach Sark and I talked for a little while on the phone the other day and he said they like me a lot and they just need to make sure everything is good to go on the academic side and then things should start moving forward."

Campbell said that Washington is talking about bringing him in for an official visit on April 20th and he hopes to know what he's going to do by then.

"I'll get to go up and see their Spring Game and also to see the campus and the city," Campbell said. "It's going to be great to get up there and meet them all in person and to see what their program is like and what the school is like."

Campbell, who said he still has to find creative places to sleep, has one last push for his degree and then he hopes that he has found a home in Seattle.

"It's all pointing the right way for me, but I'm not there yet," Campbell admitted. "I know this is God's plan for me and I just have to make sure I'm doing what I should be doing. Hopefully, if I get in, I will make a name for myself and I can be an example for others that if you have a goal for yourself, don't let anything stop you.

"None of these other schools believed in me and they moved on. Washington is sticking by me and if it all goes well, I will be there this summer and ready to make a name for myself."

Should everything work out for Campbell, he plans to sign with Washington sometime later this spring hoping to enroll in time for the summer session which begins in June and he will have three years to play two once he steps on campus.

As a sophomore last year, Campbell totaled 45 tackles, 15 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble while helping ELAC to a 5-5 record.

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