Friday, October 25, 2013
Q&A: Wake Forest WR Michael Campanaro
By Matt Fortuna
Michael Campanaro had quite a homecoming in Maryland this past weekend. The Clarksville, Md., native had 11 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown, making him the program's all-time receptions leader with 217, one more than Desmond Clark. The Demon Deacons routed the Terrapins, 34-10, to win their second straight game and get to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in ACC play.
Campanaro also threw the fourth touchdown pass of his career, a 4-yard strike to quarterback Tanner Price. The redshirt senior faces No. 7 Miami this weekend as the ACC's No. 2 man in catches (55) and receiving yards (704) despite missing the opener with a hamstring injury.
ESPN.com caught up with Campanaro earlier this week.
Michael Campanaro has ascended to the top spot on Wake Forest's all-time receptions list.
Can you take me through the touchdown pass you threw this past weekend?
Michael Campanaro: Yeah, it was a trick play we've been working on the past few weeks. It just really came together exactly how we planned and it was a nice easy toss to Tanner. It was fun switching roles with him out there.
Is that something you had to vouch for a little bit? What is it about your history throwing the football?
MC: I've kind of taken on the duties of throwing the ball with our trick plays since I've been here, so just any time the coaches are designing trick plays I usually get to compete for the job. We usually have a competition for who can throw it, so it's fun. Any time you get plays like that called you get pretty excited.
What did it mean to you to become the school leader in receptions?
MC: It's just really special. I can remember playing Madden with Desmond Clark as a kid in middle school, so to be here breaking his record just meant a lot. To do it against Maryland, my hometown school and it being homecoming, that meant a lot. And also getting the win, that was the biggest thing. So it was a really special day.
Have you ever met or spoken with Desmond? Do you have any kind of a relationship with him?
MC: He actually emailed me (Monday) and we're going to get together (Tuesday) on the phone and just chat a little bit, so I'm excited to talk to him.
You missed the first game with a hamstring injury. You're still second in the conference in catches and receiving yards. What has been working for you?
MC: My teammates have been playing well. I think Tanner has been getting a lot of time back there and he has really been playing great. But also I think just the coaching staff, they've been doing a great job of designing plays and schemes for everyone to do well on offense. Also, I think Coach (Taylor) Stubblefield, my new receivers coach, has done a great job with me helping me out with new things that I haven't learned yet playing the receiver position, so just a lot of factors into why I've been able to be successful so far.
It's rare to have the same quarterback in college for as long as you have. How have you seen Tanner Price grow over the years, and how beneficial has that been for both of you?
MC: It's been a blessing just to play with him my whole career. He's gotten so much better with the knowledge of the game. The things we're doing on offense now are really playing to his strengths. Just him being able to get up to the line and pre-snap read defenses and things like that and make the right decisions. So it's been a blast. We have a great relationship on the field and off so I've had a lot of fun playing with him.
You guys started off a little slow but you've picked it up the last couple of weeks. How would you describe the team's confidence level as you go for a second bowl bid in three years?
MC: Right now it's pretty high. I think we're definitely not satisfied. We know we have a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball, but we definitely have some good momentum going into Miami. So I think just after that NC State game we really carried over that momentum into the Maryland game, so we're just continuing to work and get better.
If you could draw it up, how would you like to end your career here?
MC: With as many wins as possible and going to the best bowl we could and getting a bowl victory. I think that's the goal right now. I really want to end twith a winning season. Since I've been here I haven't been a part of a winning team so finishing with a winning record would mean a lot to me.