Key to 2012 -- No. 1 Will Campbell
August, 31, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN Insider
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesDT Will Campbell must become the playmaker his high school career portended.Over the next two weeks, WolverineNation will break down the 10 players who need to play to the peak of their abilities for Michigan to have its best possible season, going from 10 all the way to No. 1.
Will Campbell is a player who, self-admittedly, has never played up to his potential. Coming out of Detroit Cass Tech High School as a five-star recruit and moving just 45 miles down the road to Ann Arbor, he stepped on campus with most already knowing who he was. And then for two seasons, little was heard about Campbell except that he was overweight and underperforming.
As a junior, Campbell saw the field in all 13 games, but registered only 14 total tackles. This season, as the team's starting nose tackle, he will attempt to fill the big shoes left by Mike Martin. Campbell is down to 308 pounds, after dropping honey buns out of his diet and getting more serious about offseason conditioning. So now, in his final season as a Wolverine, he's getting a chance to prove himself one last time. And to say the pressure is on him would be a huge understatement. Because the success of the defensive line, and as an extension the defense as a whole, could very well fall on his shoulders.
The D-line will need an anchor, and Campbell is pegged as it. With as much changeover as there has been in the trenches, Campbell will need to hold himself and the defensive line together as the Wolverines face some of the top O-lines in the nation this season. If the Wolverines want a chance at a Big Ten title, it could come down to the D-line’s ability to perform. Campbell, welcome to the big stage.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Eastern Illinois 20 Minnesota 42 Final Rutgers 41 Washington State 38
Final Penn State 26 UCF 24 Final Youngstown State 17 Illinois 28 Final Indiana State 10 Indiana 28 Final Northern Iowa 23 Iowa 31 Final Appalachian State 14 Michigan 52 Final 5 Ohio State 34 Navy 17 Final Western Michigan 34 Purdue 43 Final Florida Atlantic 7 22 Nebraska 55 Final California 31 Northwestern 24 Final James Madison 7 Maryland 52 Final 14 Wisconsin 24 13 LSU 28