Key to 2012 -- No. 1 Will Campbell
August, 31, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
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 Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35