Dillon Campbell’s NFL combine

File Photo by Heather Davidson

File Photo by Heather Davidson

Last month, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Dillon Campbell attended the 2015 NFL regional combine located in Baltimore, Maryland. Only 148 names were invited into the home of the Baltimore Ravens training facility; a feat for anyone to make this short list, but even more impressive coming from a small school in Canada.

However, the players that attend this combine are fundamentally different than the ones brought to the ‘flagship’ combine in Indianapolis. Matt Birk, the NFL Director of Football Development, attended the combine and on a video from NFL.com referred to these type of players as “PHDs” which stands for poor, hungry and determined.

“Originally I was nervous heading down there, the day of, the morning of. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but once I got there,” said Campbell. “I felt right at home once I got on the field.”

Campbell reflected on his performance in Maryland, highlighting his most impressive statistics.

“I guess what I’m most proud of is my broad jump; I improved that from the East-West [Bowl]. I think [there] I jumped 9:9. I jumped a 10 flat there, this past combine,” he said.

The forty-yard dash is an integral part to showcase any running back’s game. Speed into holes and cuts shapes a strong ground game. Campbell ran a 4.75, which is a number he looks to improve in the coming months.

“The forty I ran a 4.75, which wasn’t terrible but I still want to get that down for the CFL combine” he said.

According to Campbell, if he manages to make an NFL camp for this upcoming season, it would reflect strongly on Ontario University Athletics’ football and the Laurier program.

“It would definitely reflect huge on myself and the university kind of just put our selves on the map and kind of show that we do have talent up here in Canada,” he said.

Where Campbell will play next season is uncertain and many factors will go into deciding his future.

“ A lot of things have to fall in place to say exactly where I’ll land next season” he said.

Campbell touts impressive statistics and a strong skill set for any professional football club. His largest point is the national rushing title.

“I guess this past season was a big, if not the biggest point on my resume. I did have a great season myself,” he said.

The transition from the Canadian to American running game is significant and requires a transition, according to Campbell. There is one less down in the CFL, which lessens most running backs carriers and lends itself to an air game. Canadian running backs needed to have higher yards per carry to sufficiently move the chains. Canadian offences allow more motion with receivers and backfield weapons, this type of motion breeds deception into offensive game plans.

However, Campbell believes he is as ready and poised to make it with grace as anyone.

“I’m a versatile player and I’m coachable player so I definitely think I can transition effectively,” said Campbell.

The coming months will show whether or not any teams will get in contact with the backfield star out of Waterloo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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