Hello From The Future: George Campbell

Submitted by Ace on July 27th, 2013 at 6:09 PM

If the gloves fit, you must commit.

This afternoon, Wilton Speight sent out a TomVH-like cryptic tweet about some potentially big news coming from this weekend's BBQ. Despite holding Michigan recruitniks hostage for most of a summer Saturday, ALL IS FORGIVEN:

George Campbell, for those unfamiliar, is the #1 wide receiver in the 2015 class, and high school teammates with 2014 OL commit Mason Cole. The "Brady Hoke can't close on elite skill position prospects" meme? Deader than dead. And don't even think about pulling a fast one, other programs:

[deep breath]

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA okay calming down here's some actual info wait wait WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO alright serious face LOCK IT DOWN ANBENDER

[dies]

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
NR WR NR WR 4*, #1 ATH,
#3 Ovr
5*, #1 WR,
#17 Ovr
5*, #1 WR,
#8 Ovr

Only ESPN and 247 have put out rankings for the class of 2015, and they're in agreement: George Campbell is the best receiver in his class and one of the top overall prospects. His height is listed between 6'3" (247) and 6'5" (Rivals & Scout), with ESPN splitting the difference; his listed weight is anywhere between 181 and 198 pounds. His official listed measurements from The Opening are 6'3.5", 185 pounds.

SCOUTING

Campbell first made waves at Florida's "Friday Night Lights" camp last year as a rising sophomore, earning 247's top overall performer honors over a host of 2014 prospects, including former Michigan target Alex Anzalone:

1- George Campbell, WR, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake (Class of 2015)

The 6-3, 180-pound pass catcher could be one of the top prospects in the Sunshine State for the 2015 cycle and certainly looked the part, showing off advance route running skills, an ability to get off the press and play physical. He reported a 37-inch vertical and the game seemed to move very slow for him on a night where prospects where tight and trying to impress.

Campbell made such an impression that, just two days ago, Florida's 247 outlet published a list of the five most memorable FNL performances; he made the list along with four five-stars of yore: Stefon Diggs, Ronald Powell, Cam Newton, and Tim Tebow. Not bad company, to say the least.

Since then, Campbell has torn up the (often older) competition at a wide variety of camps and 7-on-7 tournaments, forming a nearly unstoppable duo with '14 Clemson commit (and, yes, former Michigan target) Artavis Scott. Despite losing out on positional MVP honors to his teammate, Campbell actually finished one spot higher than Scott on Rivals's list of top performers at this year's Orlando NFTC:

While he was edged out by his teammate for MVP honors, Campbell looked like one of the best wide receivers at the event. He's a true deep threat and during the deep ball portion of the day he showed great speed combined with solid pass-catching ability. He still has some work to do on shorter routes when the ball comes quickly, but right now he's quite the home run hitter in the passing game.

At the same event, 247's Gerry Hamilton found just one area in need of real improvement, though it's a big one:

As has been the case for nearly a year now, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Campbell was dominant in the testing portion of the combine running a 4.48 laser timed forty-yard dash, a 4.2 shuttle and a 37-inch vertical. When it came time to run routes, Campbell was also dominant bursting off the line, quickly getting into routes for his size and creating instant separation out of cuts. One area the class of 2015 prospect struggled at times today was finishing plays. He fought the ball at times, and didn’t have the look of a natural pass catcher.

ESPN's scouting report seems to echo this amidst the usual fawning over Campbell's athleticism and jump ball skills:

STRENGTHS: Excellent athlete with eye-popping size and speed measurables. A legit vertical threat who can stretch the field on offense. Displays a long wingspan on a very tall frame for a receiver. Runs extremely well and is a major mismatch on corners when positioned one-on-one. Shows great range and length with a quick initial burst covering ground on defense. Demonstrates good instincts in pursuit and will finish plays. Possesses good ball skills and is very solid in zone coverage closing on the pass from depth. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Can continue to refine his route running and become more consistent with his hands. Would benefit from adding bulk and strength to his frame. Not presently an overpowering downhill run defender on defense.

Why does ESPN's profile focus so much on his defense? Well, Campbell lined up at defensive end for East Lake last fall, and in June's IMG 7-on-7 championships he cracked Rivals's list of top performers... on defense:

Campbell is already one of the top wide receiver prospects for the class of 2015, but on Saturday he did his damage on the defensive side of the ball. He had at least two interceptions and also had a key pass breakup that helped his team secure a victory. He'll likely play offense at the next level, but it's clear he's a very versatile athlete.

Despite the above, Campbell should end up at receiver at the next level, though if he doesn't develop on offense he could easily find a home as a ball-hawking safety.

While Campbell's skills are still developing — remember, he's a rising junior — his athleticism is already at a very elite level. As one of just five 2015 prospects invited to this year's edition of The Opening, Campbell showed up and blew everyone away on the track:

While Noil was busy winning the overall SPARQ Championship, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake wide out, and top Florida 2015 target, George Campbell won the fastest man competition.

After running a blistering 4.36 in the opening round of SPARQ testing, Campbell was joined in the finals by Curtis Samuel and Parris Campbell.

The junior-to-be ran a 4.37 to take home the award.

Those are electronic times. Campbell also recorded a 37-inch vertical leap. He's almost 6'4". Al Borges is probably trying to find a way to get him on the team this fall, let alone two years from now.

OFFERS

Campbell held offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and West Virginia, among many others. It's safe to assume that he would receive offers from just about every program in the country if he didn't make an early commitment; as it stands, that offer list is impressive even for a decorated senior, and Campbell has yet to play his junior season.

HIGH SCHOOL

Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake, as you well know by now, also features 2014 prospects Mason Cole (Michigan) and Artavis Scott (Clemson); they have one other '14 BCS commit in three-star DB Devin Abraham. Aside from 2013 three-star and UCF signee QB Pete Dinovo, no East Lake player earned more than two stars on Rivals prior to this class.

STATS

According to 247, Campbell recorded 30 receptions for 766 yards (25.5 ypc) and five touchdowns as a sophomore last fall, while also contributing 57 tackles on defense.

FAKE 40 TIME

Campbell's 4.36 40 time is gloriously NOT FAKE AT ALL.

VIDEO

Sophomore highlights:

More highlights with single-game cut-ups are available at Campbell's Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Campbell will give Michigan a pair of hyper-athletic deep threats at receiver when he joins 2014 commit Drake Harris. It's tough to project Campbell's ability to make an early impact considering he's got plenty of work to do refinining his technique in the two years before he hits campus; the good news, of course, is that there are still two years before he hits campus.

What we do know is that, in 2015, Shane Morris or Wilton Speight is slated to have Harris, Campbell, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Moe Ways, Freddy Canteen, Jaron Dukes, Da'Mario Jones, Csont'e York, Devin Funchess, Jake Butt, and Ian Bunting as potential targets, in addition to Derrick Green and DeVeon Smith at running back. Oh, and that offensive line. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Campbell is the third commit in the 2015 class, joining OT Jon Runyan Jr. and K Andrew David; 2014 grayshirt commit DT Brady Pallante will also join the team in 2015.

Campbell's presence is a boon to the 2015 class in that (1) he's George Campbell, five-star receiver, and (2) his early commitment should help attract other top talent to Michigan. At this point, it's way too early to go over numbers, so for now just celebrate the fact that HOLY CRAP GEORGE CAMPBELL JUST COMMITTED.

Comments

BrownJuggernaut

July 27th, 2013 at 6:10 PM ^

Is stroke responding acceptable? Cuz kdaknfdjknfjcvo843898894234878234yjsddjfhasyr673yrhdkewr8723y78rewkejrklewsfdjsfhudskajhfiu324uihrwjk42brew fsnmf is how I feel right now.

DonAZ

July 27th, 2013 at 7:54 PM ^

This:

Is why I love Brady Hoke.

I've never met the man.  But from what I've read he's a man perfectly comfortable showing affection for other men, and has the rare ability to make others not feel uncomfortable while he does it.

There's only one way that is accomplished -- sincerity. That is a powerful thing.

So I go back to my common drumbeat ... Brady Hoke is the heart and soul of this new Michigan program, and it's exactly this unabashed sincerity that forms the cornerstone on which it all rests.  It's what allows him to be both cheerleader and disciplinarian and have his team hang on his words in either case.

My other drumbeat ... I'm willing to bet there's been more than a few mothers of recruits who have cried tears of joy to know their son is going under the tutelage of Brady Hoke.  More than a few fathers of recruits as well, I'm sure.

Nick Sparks

July 28th, 2013 at 2:24 AM ^

Very well said. What I wouldn't give for a few days just to follow that man around.

As a coach myself who's studied as many coaches as I could (Bo's Lasting Lessons rocked my world), Brady Hoke is something special. Talk about an example that we'd be lucky to live up to. All of us, from we who take pride in this team, to those who actually get to be mentored by him, are really fortunate that he's our coach.

Edit: PS I was skeptical at his hiring, man, crow never tasted so good

M-Dog

July 28th, 2013 at 7:06 PM ^

At some point you start to realize that Brady Hoke isn't recruiting.  He's just being.

Our recruiting success isn't about luck, or playing time, or positional depth, or regional talent.  It's about Brady Hoke.

Which is fantastic.  Luck, playing time, positional depth, regional talent all come and go.  But Brady Hoke is always going to be Brady Hoke.

   

 

gwkrlghl

July 27th, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

#Project136 just got dropped. This little tradition of commits recruiting other guys and have a #ProjectX is freakin fantastic

And what a start to the 2015 class. Every class Hoke has had so far (except 2012) has had a big name commit early and huge results followed as they continued to recruits

2013 - Shane Morris
2014 - Michael Ferns, then Jabrill Peppers
2015 - George Campbell (and hopefully he's a recruiter)

Huge start to that class

Mr. Yost

July 27th, 2013 at 8:16 PM ^

Don't forget the QB that has also had a HUGE impact on recruiting. One thing I love is that DG is mentoriing Morris, you know Shane will do the same to Wilton when the time comes.

aiglick

July 27th, 2013 at 6:25 PM ^

First, welcome George. May we get to call you King George someday.

Second, we're coming for you Alabama. Be prepared.

Third, it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine, I say, it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. Oh yeah.