Will Campbell willing to play offensive line, but standing out early on defense at Shrine Game
Former Michigan defensive tackle Will Campbell will do anything to make the NFL -- including moving back to offense.
"It don't matter which side of the ball I play on, as long as I continue to play football," Campbell said. "I love the game, and whatever happens, happens."
That might not be necessary.
Campbell began practices this week for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game (4 p.m., NFL Network), and has impressed with his early practice performances.
Tony Pauline, an NFL Draft writer for Sports Illustrated and publisher of draftinsider.net, wrote this Tuesday from Shrine practices:
Big, strong, controlling lineman that constantly pushed blockers off the ball and into the backfield. Was dominant at times and could not be stopped. Did not show great quickness or a closing burst. More of a gap occupier and pocket collapser than playmaker.
Campbell was one of the country's top defensive tackle recruits coming out of Detroit Cass Tech in 2009, but the five-star prospect arrived on campus overweight -- tipping the scales at about 356 pounds -- and fizzled early in his career.
He was moved to the offensive line during the 2010 season, but switched back to defense the following offseason. He was a reserve in 2011 before finally breaking out as a starter in 2012.
Campbell finished with 44 tackles, which led Michigan's defensive linemen and helped him land on NFL radars. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said Campbell is a candidate to be selected in the late rounds of April's draft.
CBSSports.com ranks him the No. 18 defensive tackle prospect and projects him as a sixth-round draft choice.
After spending three years tagged as a five-star bust, Campbell's NFL dream appears to be alive and well.
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