Annual BWC fluff piece

Submitted by Genzilla on July 31st, 2012 at 10:15 AM

It's that time of year, where we read a great story about Will Campbell and get all excited about how great he's gonna be this year.  The most interesting part of this story to me is that (like we found out last week) he's down to 308.  This is especially interesting because Hoke wants him to play a bit heavier than that, meaning Campbell will be working on gaining some weight between now and Sept. 1.  Never thought that would happen.



July 31st, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

Like many before have commented, it depends on the changes he's made to his pad level. He's just a very tall guy and unfortunately that presents him with some challenges in squaring up with an OL. The weight loss is a good sign though. If he can shift and move more quickly, combined with his size and strength, he can cover up some of his fundamental shortcomings. Regardless, I'm excited to see him on the field.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

Sure, pad level is a big deal to Dlineman but I think BWC just needs to have more of a killer instinct/high motor consistently in order to be successful.  The work that he has put in this offseason to get in better shape will undoubtedly help him have the endurance to show this more often.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:51 AM ^

Agreed. And I think by "pad level" I guess I meant more vaguely fundamentals or technique. Like someone else commented, that should improve this season having practiced a lot more with Hoke and Mattison. He sounds a lot more confident given what those around him are saying and not just media folks. Hopefully that translates into the intangibles like "drive" and "instinct" on the field.

Mr. Yost

July 31st, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

For anyone who's ever been around Campbell from high school until now knows words that were also used to describe him were "teddy bear," "funny," and "immature."

BWC is/was a loveable guy...a class clown, hilarious to those around him. He lead Michigan on a wild goose chase for those last few recruiting months even though we all knew he was going to Michigan. He was always seen joking and dancing on the sidelines of games with walk-ons in the early years.

The most telling part of that whole story is what I've believe to be true for a loooong time. Mike Martin.

Campbell wanted to play, he was the leader and star of his HS team...he was highly recruited, and Martin was flat out better and worked harder.

This season he's the man, he's also matured...a perfect combination. He'll see tangible rewards for all of his hard work. Starting, better stats, more impact, etc. All the work will feel like it is worth it.

If Campbell has the talent, the flat out talent of a 5* DT...I think he has a huge year. If he was just a big kid who was a 5* because he was bigger than everyone else in HS, but never got any better, then I'm worried. The work ethic is there, the opportunity is there, the coaching is there, the maturity is better...if he's got that skill and talent, I fear for opposing OLmen.


July 31st, 2012 at 2:01 PM ^

While I agree about him not seeing the field because Mike Martin was in front of him, he also didn't see it because he was moved to the other side of the ball for a while, too. Plus, not everyone can be Mike Martin and basically self motivate through years of struggle, coaching changes, position changes, and mediocrity, either. I can't imagine very many defensive players who would've succeeded like MM did under RR. I have a huge respect for MIkes motor and drive. Will Campbells environment and coaching the last few years was as detrimental to his development as it was for the rest of the defense, honestly. 


July 31st, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

Considering that going into last year he was an extremely out of shape and unmotivated Offensive Guard, the fact that he switched back to DT and got in decent shape was a very big step.  He had flashes of good play and by all accounts he's in much better shape this year.  ON top of that he should have a better handle of the defense and a better understanding of technique (year two of Montgomery, Hoke, and Mattison) now that he has some good position coaches.

In my opinion last year was sort of a rehab year for him, position switch, getting in shape, learning proper technique for the first time.  While I don't expect him to all of a sudden be Mike Martin out there, I could see him being a pleasant surprise this year.

I still expect him to have a very rough first week, and for him to show himself pretty well for the rest of the year.

turd ferguson

July 31st, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

Yeah, although I'm ready to give up on the All-American hopes, I still think Campbell can be a major contributor this season.  He's had to deal with a lot of obstacles since he's been here, some of which he created himself but many of which he did not:  multiple coaching staffs, multiple position switches, the burning of a redshirt that probably never should have been burned, etc.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:32 AM ^

At this point BWC needs to become that large planetoid object that occupies double teams like a mofo and creates a pile so hopefully he can just stand his ground instead of being driven backwards.   


July 31st, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

BWC reminds me of Stevie Brown.  Like Brown, BWC has one more chance to "redeem" himself and become the player everyone had hoped for.  It worked out OK for Brown.  Hopefully, BWC will be able to have one great year in a maize and blue uniform.


July 31st, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

Stevie did (mostly) redeem himself his senior year and that was definitely a pleasant surprise.  In his earlier years, you could easily point him out as the (or atleast a) major factor in pretty much every big play made against the U of M defense.  "Godammit Stevie!" was probably my most commonly said phrase said while watching U of M football for a couple seasons.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

I anticipate his performance this year to be mostly above serviceable/average with a handful of "Oh my God did you just see what he did to that poor OL/RB/QB?!" every game.  I suspect we'll be able to watch a good 2 or 3 minute highlight reel from his senior year and smile at his progress.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

The criticism Will seems to get perplexes me. The fact is, he's been stuck behind a great player in Mike Martin for his entite career, but he's actually played quite well whenever he's been substituted in. He's actually made quite a few impressive plays for a guy with such limited playing time, including some forced fumbles, sacks and batted down passes. Anyone expecting there to be a large gaping hole on our D-line this year is instead going to find a 310 pound beast who's hungry for lunch.


July 31st, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

How would you put these in order:

  • BWC = OMG?
  • DG at WR
  • Chesson v. Darboh
  • Kalis/who starts at LG
  • I can haz Fitz?
  • Beyer v. Clark


July 31st, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

I'd drop Chesson v Darboh a bit lower, below Fitz at least, maybe at the bottom, just because Fitz, Kalis, and Beyer/Clark are all battling for starting jobs and will see significant game time, and likely be instrumental in team 133s success, while Darboh and Chesson will develop into starters one day, but for now they're battling for essentially the last backup WR spot, and one of them could end up redshirting. 


July 31st, 2012 at 11:20 AM ^

"Kovacs said he's turned into a weight room warrior, and that he's even taken to shepherding the young guys to help them avoid the arduous path he created for himself."

Between this and the fact that he apparently hosts the film sessions for the defensive line and working out to the point where Hoke would like him to put some weight back, it is a tribute to how much he's matured in a short time really.

It seems like he sees the fact that this is his last year as a chance to have a renaissance of sorts, so solid contributions in games plus the newly found motivation hopefully make for a huge year for Campbell. This being the second year with the same position coach, coordinator and, of course, Hoke certainly should aid all this.


July 31st, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

He's not even 21.  He's a senior.  He has had 2 years at DT.  One of those years were under RR, so that doesn't even count.  So truly, only one year of coaching.

He had a year on the Offensive Line... (excuse me while I vomit)

Now everyone is expecting him to anchor this defense.  It is not happening.  He just needs to be average and I'll be happy.

This kid has been screwed over more than anyone from the previous staff's incompetency.  I feel for him.

He should be a Redshirt Junior, with 3 solid years of coaching under his belt with another year to go.  Then I would expect a lot more out of him.  As it stands now, I hope he can just function out there and every once in awhile make an amazing athletic play that makes me say under my breath "What could have been, if he had one more year of coaching from this staff and he never switched to Offensive Line?"


Johnny Blood

July 31st, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

I agree with your evaluation of his journey... Roh has had the same one.  I really wish both of them had one more year after this one where they could be truly dominant. 

As it is, I expect them both to be good for their Senior years but will always think about what could have been had they been managed properly.


July 31st, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

Good enough for


"Michigan's Will Campbell has been praised before, but Brady Hoke explains why this year is different."