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Once again the combine has not failed to deliver as it has produced this years workout warrior. Offensive tackle Bruce Campbell out of the University of Maryland has awed NFL officials with eye popping ability. At first glance, offensive line is the last position one would assume Campbell played. He's built like Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard minus 5" and an additional 70lbs of muscle (6'7" 314lbs). His build would have to be accredited to his father, former NBA player Bruce Campbell Jr.
The decision to forgo his senior season at the University of Maryland wasn't a difficult one. Having grown up in the public housing developments of Hartford Connecticut, the economic opportunity the NFL provided was too much to pass up. Although Campbell's dad was a former NBA athlete, his life was anything but lavish. Campbells academics suffered throughout high school for many different reason, many of which a 17 yr old kid should not be concerned with. He was forced into manhood at an early age and being a young adult he was forced to make many adult decisions. The grand decision to enter military school upon high school graduation proved to be an intricate piece in his development as a person. A year in military school prepared him emotionally and academically for the rigors of college life.
I was afforded the opportunity to view a small portion of his college film. It wouldn't be factual if I proclaimed Campbell made the most of his college career as post season honors elluded him each of his three years at the University of Maryland. This could be a slight based on the politics that go into selecting post season honors or a an indictment on the lack of coaching he recieved. I would be lead to believe it's the latter that has hampered this yong mans development. Considering Campbell sports a 500lb bench press that resulted in 34 reps at 225lbs and ran a 4.7 second forty; I was expecting to see a physical and athletic lineman on tape. To my dismay the young man that showed up at the combine was completely different than the guy on film. Campbell struggles with counter moves in his pass protection and is too much of a finesse player. Given the physical prowess of Campbell, these two attributes should never be tied to his name. Campbell will develop into a good offensive lineman but the team that drafts him will have to be patient.
Personally, I like this kid because I know deep inside him is a beast of a player dying to get out. He has dealt with many obstacles throughout his life and he is still standing tall. His performance at the combine has shown, given the opportunity he won't disappoint.