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June 27, 2014

PREP FOOTBALL: Cold Springs’ Campbell ready for ‘new journey’ at West Alabama

CULLMAN — Logan Campbell took Cold Springs and Cullman County by storm last football season.

This fall, he’ll look to do the same at the University of West Alabama.

Campbell, The Times’ reigning Player of the Year, will join the Division II Tigers as a preferred walk-on. The Gulf South Conference program, which hired Brett Gilliland as head coach in December, went 8-3 in 2013. UWA walloped Shorter 63-17 and Central State 91-28 to close out the campaign.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity at the next level,” Campbell said. “I went to their spring game, and it’s just a different level of competition. I’m ready to get up there and give it a go.”

Campbell won’t have to try out but will eventually have to settle on a position to play. A jack-of-all-trades while at Cold Springs — he was equally successful in the offensive backfield, defensive secondary and on special teams — the speedster expects to be utilized as an outside linebacker. If Campbell decides to go the offensive route, however, he’ll probably end up as a slot receiver or, better yet, a tailback.

 “I’d like to continue what I like to do and play running back, but I guess we’ll just see when I get down there really,” he said. “Just whatever to help the team.”

Campbell played off last year’s breakthrough season as his squad “making me look better than I was.” Regardless of who deserves the bulk of the credit, there’s no denying the Cold Springs star was brilliant in his senior sendoff.

Campbell wrapped up a 10-game schedule with an eye-popping 2,907 total yards. He set the school’s single-game record for total yards (527) and tied the top mark for touchdowns (six) in a 68-34 homecoming win against Lynn. His 29 touchdowns accounted for almost half of the Eagles’ 369 points, their highest amount ever.

Campbell, a frequent inclusion on the Alabama High School Athletic and Alabama Sports Writers associations’ weekly releases, was rewarded handsomely during awards season. He was named the All-County Overall MVP, the Fox6 Class 2A Offensive Player of the Year and an All-State first-teamer, Cold Springs’ first since 2003.

Around for the tail end of the program’s infamous 35-game losing streak that stretched from 2008-11, Campbell played a crucial part in the Eagles’ return to the winning track. They touted a modest three victories in 2012 and nearly made the playoffs with six last fall.

“I owe everything to them — my teammates and my coaches, my supporters and the entire community,” Campbell said. “I’ve been with those guys my entire life. We worked so hard to do what we did.

“It’ll be starting a new journey.”

Campbell will take off on that journey with a fair share of folks who believe in him, as well as the many others who’ve expressed their doubts. Whether they know it or not, both sides only strengthen the teen’s will to make the most of the chance he’s been handed.

“I want to go down there and show all the other schools that didn’t offer me they should have,” Campbell said. “Just show them what I’ve got and show them what a small-town, small-school boy can do.”

What Campbell does best is work, which Rod Elliott saw firsthand once returning to Cold Springs in 2012. Early mornings in the weight room, midday practices in the blazing heat or under the glow of the Friday night lights, the coach never witnessed Campbell give anything less than 100 percent.

“Nothing in life worth having comes easy, and he put in the time and work that it takes to excel at the high school level and to earn an opportunity at the next level,” Elliott said. “And I don’t think there’s any doubt he’ll work just as hard when he gets down there, if not harder.

“I don’t know if he can work any harder than he did.”

 

% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at robk@cullmantimes.com.

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