Jack Campbell felt out of place. He didn’t let it discourage him, however.
The Class of 2019 linebacker from Cedar Falls competed at defensive end during Iowa’s weekend camp. The coaches wanted to see what the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder looked like off the edge.
Following a session of banging pads with offensive lineman, Campbell visited head coach Kirk Ferentz’s office. He was told the Hawkeyes were offering him a scholarship.
Campbell said he was surprised because he didn’t perform well against the linemen. He showed the staff enough, however.
“I think they liked that I never gave up on anything even though I weighed 100 pounds less than most of those guys,” Campbell told HN.
Iowa State offered Campbell in April. Northern Iowa did the same a few weeks later.
Schools outside the state are showing interest. Campbell is scheduled to camp at Wisconsin on Thursday, Iowa State on Saturday, Penn State (June 16), Ohio State (June 17) and North Dakota State (June 23).
“Right now, I’m going to wait a little bit and see what options come my way. It’s an important decision because it’s going to affect the rest of my life. I want to make sure I make the right decision,” he said.
As a sophomore, Campbell ranked third on Cedar Falls with 47.5 tackles (36 solo). He also recorded six stops for loss and a sack.
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After working with the linemen at Iowa’s Friday camp, Campbell returned to the field that day, competing with the linebackers. He felt much better about his performance during that workout and he received positive feedback.
“After the camp, the defensive coaches congratulated me and told me that I had a great camp. Some of the offensive coaches did the same thing. I think that speaks about how tight-knit their staff is that coaches on both sides of the ball congratulated me. That meant a lot to me,” Campbell said.
Campbell said linebackers coach Seth Wallace tutored the group on getting off blocks, covering running backs and tight ends, and pass rush moves.
“Personally, I like (Wallace) a lot because he always pushes you to be better. He’s a very intense coach. He expects the best out of you and he brings the best out of you. If you don’t give him your best, he’ll let you know,” Campbell said.
Campbell said he’s looking for college coaches that will push him. He sees that at Iowa.
“I don’t want coaches that let things slide. I want to be with a winning program,” he said.
Campbell enjoyed his time getting to know Ferentz.
“He’s a coach that expects the best out of you every time you show up there. I think he’s a coach that will be loyal to his players. He’s been a head coach for so long there. I have a lot of respect for him,” he said.
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Campbell became the fourth ’19 in-state prospect to receive an Iowa offer. He joined Council Bluffs quarterback Max Duggan, Norwalk offensive lineman Tyler Endres and Ezra Miller, an offensive lineman from Holstein who verbally committed in April.
“It’s pretty crazy. I’m very fortunate to have these opportunities. I’m just going to try to enjoy it. It feels really good,” Campbell said.
Campbell also plays basketball and is on the track and field team, where he competes in the long jump and sprints.
Here’s a look at Campbell’s junior highlights: