HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Campbell.
[divider]MORE: Compare Any Two FCS Players or Any Two FCS Teams[divider]
FCS TEAM BY TEAM PREVIEW: The countdown
FCS PRESEASON TOP 25: The poll
FCS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA: The teams
CAMPBELL (6-5 IN 2017)
Big South (CU was in Pioneer League in 2017)
COACH: Mike Minter – 6th year (24-32 record)
2017 OFFENSE: 33.8 ppg. (17th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 22.5 ppg. (37th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Campbell is going to be an interesting program to watch over the next several years. The Camels are certainly invested in "moving up" in the world of FCS, but may hit a few bumps in the road this year. Last year they had a winning season in the non-scholarship Pioneer League, but they struggled when they ventured into games featuring teams from scholarship leagues — new Big South rival Presbyterian and the Patriot League's Georgetown. Though the two games were close, the Camels fell in both of them — and those two scholarship FCS school teams combined to go 4-17 last year. But Campbell is only going to grow at this level, and the Big South is the perfect conference to grow in. The starting point on offense is sophomore QB Daniel Smith — who passed and rushed for 1,000 yards in 2017. The defense also features a nice-sized contingent of players back. How quickly will Campbell be competitive?
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Campbell may not be an FCS Playoff-bound program this year, but I'll go ahead and say that I think they'll be in that kind of position in the next few years. This season might be a bit of a tough transition, but the Camels reside in a talent-rich area of the country, they have a ton of young talent on the roster, and head coach Mike Minter — the former NFL and Nebraska player — knows how to win. The Camels will be in the mix soon, if not this year — this is a program that is undoubtedly going places.
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BEST FCS PLAYER BY NUMBER: We count down, No. 99 through No. 1[divider]
TOP RETURNEE: QB Daniel Smith (Pioneer League Offensive Freshman of the Year)
THE NEXT BEST: WR Aaron Blockman (2nd team Pioneer League); OL Shuler Littleton (2nd team Pioneer League); LB Jack Ryan (leading tackler – 103 stops, 8 TFL); WR/RS Jaquan Brooks (2nd leading receiver, leading punt returner); RB Darius Barnes (295 yds rushing, 3 TDs); LB Ray Miller (9.5 TFL, 65 tackles); RB Montel Goods (7 total TDs, 465 yards rushing).
TOP NEWCOMER: DB Aaron Covington (Toledo transfer, former 3-star prospect – action in 14 games)
DID YOU KNOW?: After a 57-year hiatus from college football, Campbell restarted its program in 2007 after having played football from 1925 to 1950, mostly as a junior college program. This is a move FCS schools like Stetson and Mercer have made in recent years, reviving their programs after decades of not being on the gridiron.
THE QUOTE: "I'm proud of my guys. They competed all spring … We went into the spring trying to understand how to take your game to the next level, because we're heading to the Big South and you have to take your game to the next level. They competed hard with each other and there was a lot of competition all across the field." — Head Coach Mike Minter said after spring ball
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #BuildTheCreek
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @GoCamelsFB
Soon. #GoCamels pic.twitter.com/ZHYsi5vEFo
— Campbell Football (@GoCamelsFB) May 21, 2018
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