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31 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Jack Campbell

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The Cedar Falls product gained valuable experience in 2019. Can he start in 2020?

Wisconsin v Iowa
Does Phil Parker have his new starter at middle linebacker?
Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

We continue our countdown with Campbell in this age of Covid (had to get some alliteration in there).

Jack Campbell, Sophomore

Cedar Falls, IA (Cedar Falls HS)

6’5”, 243 lbs

2020 Projection: Starting Middle Linebacker

Those who follow Iowa football are pretty familiar with the Hawkeye recipe. In order to see the field as a true freshman one of three things needs to take place. First, you have to some skill. Yeah, they all have skill at this level, but maybe that extra little bit. Second, you more than likely have to play a position of need for that year’s squad. If there is a lack of depth at a certain position, your chances go up. Finally, a first-year player needs to have maturity. Kirk Ferentz and company are just not going to put kids in a position to fail, both on the field or off. If a student-athlete builds that trust with the coaching staff, he may find some playing time as a true freshman.

This was the case for Jack Campbell last year. He was one of 8 true freshmen to play in 2019-20. Campbell played in 11 games last year. He had 5 tackles, 4 of which occurred in the Purdue game. The Hawks’ starting middle linebacker Kristian Welch was injured and didn’t play vs. the Boilers. Campbell and Dillon Doyle split time in the middle and Doyle eventually took over until Welch returned. Now that Doyle is at Baylor, the door is open for Campbell to take said door off the hinges and throw it on the trash heap.

There are a few promising things going in Campbell’s favor. First of all, he’s a tall human being. 6’5” is a pretty tall dude hanging out in the middle of the field. He has continued to put on good weight and he moves well, especially for someone of his size.

Another positive for Jack was being named to the 2020 Leadership Group. Iowa expects, and very much needs, its middle linebacker to be an intelligent, mobile, vocal leader. Campbell gained valuable experience last year on special teams, appearing in 11 games, and could be that vocal leader in 2020.

The Iowa formula, like clockwork, shows players like Jack Campbell really take off in their second year. Let’s get this thing kicked off and hopefully we are able to watch the evolution and maturation of the next man in the middle for our Hawks.