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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Added pressure for UT commit Campbell

By William Wilkerson

ALLEN, Texas -- Life as a newly minted Longhorns commit has been good for 2015 defensive back Jalen Campbell (Corpus Christi, Texas/Flour Bluff). His dream came true when he gave his verbal pledge to Texas’ coaches just before the Longhorns' spring game on March 30.

“After you get the big offer and commit, a lot of stress is taken off your shoulders,” he said.

Jalen Campbell
Texas defensive back commit Jalen Campbell will attend the Memphis NFTC this weekend.
At the same time, though, plenty of new stress is packed right back on. That’s something Campbell is feeling right now.

“The pressure of just worrying about can I get into college, am I going to get through college. All of that is relieved,” he said. “But at the same time all of the add-ons of being a commit you now have to take care of.”

There’s also pressure in knowing Campbell will be Flour Bluff’s first Division I signee since linebacker Andy Matakis went to Texas A&M in 2001.

If there’s one thing for certain, Campbell is taking the proper steps toward making sure his game is as good as it can be before he gets to Texas.

That includes a seven-hour drive like the one he and his family made on Sunday to compete in the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp. Campbell rolled into Allen at 4 a.m. and then had to go and compete in an absolutely stacked group of defensive backs.

“I did all right,” he said. “There were a lot of guys out here so we didn’t get a lot of reps. That kind of bothered me. I think I’ll head to the Memphis one [on April 14].”

More reps would have been nice, but Campbell also took a lot away from being able to watch some of the other DBs in attendance, especially 2014 cornerback Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen).

“I really like the way he plays,” Campbell said. “When I was a freshman at a camp I was getting tore up. He was killing it though so he is one of the guys that I look up to.”

Campbell will be one of those players that younger prospects look up to in the future. The numbers speak for themselves: 27 starts, 14 interceptions, four returned for touchdowns.

It’s because of those playmaking abilities why he thinks Texas offered him so early.

“I’m a playmaker. That’s the biggest thing about me,” he said. “I’m not 6-foot-2, I’m don’t bench something crazy. But I’m a playmaker. I get the job done.”