HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs, with three teams being released each day from June 17 to July 28. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 1-4. Today, we present … Campbell.
We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country, with HERO Sports.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
COACH: Mike Minter – At School: 7th year (30-37 record), Overall: Same
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: None
2018 OFFENSE: 24.8 ppg. (84th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 22.0 ppg. (22nd in FCS)
KEY GAME: Nov. 23 – @ Charleston Southern: Last year this game was a barn-burner (12-7 CSU win) and this year could be interesting again. CSU is rebuilding and this game might be the determinant of whether Campbell finishes with its third winning season in a row (previous two have been 6-5).
SUM IT UP: The Camels received some tough news in June when stellar rising junior quarterback Daniel Smith — who accounted for around 5,000 yards of total offense the past two seasons — decided to grad transfer. While this is a challenge, coach Mike Minter's teams the past few years have proven they can win games with a tough defense, too — and nine starters are back from that unit. The challenge of moving from the non-scholarship ranks of the Pioneer League to the Big South Conference was a big one, as their lone 2018 league win was against Presbyterian — which has made the decision to move over to the Pioneer League itself in the next few years. But Campbell did give Charleston Southern a battle and knocked around new Big South rival North Alabama — which is no small accomplishment as UNA went 7-3 last year.
The defense was No. 1 in the FCS last year in passing yardage allowed (122.5 yards per game), and the team was tough on third downs, scoring defense and total defense (all Top 25 marks in the FCS). That is certainly something to build on as the offense tries to figure out what its next step will be. The defensive line and the secondary are completely intact based on the final starting lineup last year, so those will certainly be building blocks that define this team. Whoever emerges under center on offense will have a mostly intact O-line and some outstanding skill talent to work with.
OUR TAKE: Campbell got off to a 5-1 record last year with its only loss being of the FBS variety (Coastal Carolina). And while it took some lumps in conference play, the program proved it could be competitive quickly. Don't be surprised if the defense helps the Camels repeat that kind of start, with three or four early wins before hitting the meat of that conference schedule. The quarterback situation could hurt some, but this program is heading in the right direction as it continues its transition to full scholarship football. That sort of thing doesn't happen overnight. Playing around .500 football this year would be a big positive and would signal what is coming in future seasons.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Sr./DE Damien Dozier (2nd Team All Big South – 11.5 TFLs last year led team, 49 tackles)
THE FOUNDATION: Soph./WR Caleb Snead (HERO Sports Freshman All American – 810 yards receiving on 45 receptions, 9 TDs); Sr./P Brad Dennis (1st Team All Big South – 43.2 yards per punt); Sr./FS Deontae Henderson (67 tackles was 2nd on the team, top tackler returning); Soph./DB Dorian Jones (49 tackles – tied for 3rd on team); Sr./DT Terence Harper (6-foot-9 tackle had 44 tackles and 5 TFLs); Sr./RB Rocky Reid (614 yards rushing, 5 TDs); Sr./OL Jacob Cuddington (returning starter on the line).
THE QUOTE: "I just loved everybody's effort, they brought the cornerstone today. That's what it's all about. I'm proud of this whole spring, because this whole spring we got better. We wanted to increase our skill and we did that, we wanted to increase our competitive nature and we did that. We wanted to increase our physical and mental toughness and we did that. So I'm proud of this spring, just like everybody else in the country, we had a great spring and now it's time to get ready for summer workouts." — Head Coach Mike Minter said during spring ball
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Campbell Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast