Thursday, May 31, 2012
Will Campbell not helping cause with fans
By Adam Rittenberg
Like any five-star recruit, Will Campbell arrived at Michigan very much on the fans' radar. He has been closely monitored every step of the way.
His Wolverines career to this point can best be described as disappointing or incomplete, depending on your viewpoint. Unrealized potential is the term often attached to Campbell, and fans have waited patiently for the mammoth defensive tackle to have a breakout season.
The concerns around Campbell always have been his weight and his work ethic, which go hand in hand. He arrived at Michigan too big, and while he moved around to different positions, he didn't stay on the field very long in his first two seasons. Last season, Campbell appeared in all 13 games as a reserve defensive tackle, but he recorded only 14 tackles and was Michigan's fifth or sixth best defensive lineman.
The hope is that Campbell will put it all together as a senior, and he's projected to start at nose tackle. He talked this spring about his improved work ethic, and he was a prominent voice in colleague Mark Schlabach's story about Michigan's leadership retreat to California.
But Thursday's news that Campbell was arraigned on vandalism charges leaves many Michigan fans shaking their heads. Campbell faces one felony and one misdemeanor charge of malicious destruction of property stemming from an April 7 incident.
According to Ann Arbor police, Campbell was arrested after attempting to slide across the hood of a vehicle at 2 a.m. on April 7 in the 600 block of Church Street. An officer in the area could hear the sheet metal on the hood of the car buckle under Campbell's weight -- he's listed at 322 pounds -- and arrested the senior, police stated. Campbell was intoxicated, according to police.
I didn't major in math but 322-pound guy versus car hood usually results in damaged property.
Clearly not a smart choice by a guy pegged to be a team leader in 2013.
Campbell has no known off-field incidents in his past and likely won't face more than a fine. He also could face penalties from head coach Brady Hoke. Remember that Michigan doesn't open the season against a patsy, but rather defending national champion Alabama. Any playing-time penalty Hoke hands down would cost the Wolverines and their new-look defensive front against the Crimson Tide.
Campbell still has a lot to do to live up to his billing and win over justifiably skeptical fans. This doesn't help.