Caleb Campbell stays positive
Caleb Campbell sounded a bit weary Wednesday evening as he packed his bags in a Detroit-area hotel room. But Campbell had made up his mind to react positively to news that the U.S. Army has called him into traditional active duty, rescinding an alternative service option that would have allowed him to be the first Army player to move directly to the NFL after leaving school.
"I was at West Point last week and they told me everything was good to go," Campbell said. "So this news was definitely a surprise. But I know that when I went to the academy, my goal and plan was to be an officer in the United States Army, and that's what I'm going to be. I can't be disappointed in that."
Campbell, a second lieutenant, will serve as an assistant football coach at Army during the college season. He plans to stay in shape and will pursue an NFL job when he becomes eligible in May 2010. But that will come after missing two seasons of the game.
In the interest of full disclosure, Campbell had agreed to keep a diary for ESPN.com during training camp and completed his first entry earlier this week. In it, he wrote that he was looking forward to being the "poster child" for the alternative service option and added: "I feel like I'm setting the pathway for other players to follow."
Wednesday's news scuttled that plan and could ultimately mean the end of his football career. But, Campbell said: "My original plan was to be an officer and that's what I'm going to be. I'm really excited to be a soldier and to lead our troops."
For those who are wondering, the Lions will get no compensation for using a seventh-round pick to draft Campbell. They will retain his rights until the 2009 draft.