Hawkeyes linebacker Jack Campbell added Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year to his list of preseason honors this week. It’s just the latest of many.
Check that. The latest was being named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list along with teammate Riley Moss. A new announcement comes almost every day – and that’s not an exaggeration. Refreshing the inbox now – just in case.
Moss was 4th in DPOY voting, but it was Campbell on top with 20 of 35 first-place votes from the media panel assembled by Cleveland.com.
But don’t expect Campbell to brag.
“I think the first thing I would cite with Jack – and that’s probably true of a lot of really good players I’ve been around pro, college, or high school, or good coaches I’ve been around – he’s extremely humble. He’s not about taking credit for anything,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said at Big Ten Media Days. “He deserves a lot.”
And he’s getting a lot in advance of this season and in response to 2021.
Last year, Campbell was named a second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and Phil Steele in 2021, earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and was awarded Iowa’s Roy Carver Most Valuable Player on Defense award.
This year, Campbell already has been named to the Athlon Sports 2022 preseason All-Big Ten First Team and first-team All-America by Phil Steele, Athlon Sports and Sporting News.
“He’s got a skill set that’s unusual, just his height and range,” Ferentz said of the 6-foot-5 Campbell. “It’s a little bit unusual for us, at least historically. I don’t know the exact numbers, but he’s probably our tallest linebacker probably in 23 years, I’m guessing. Beyond that, he just plays smart and plays with unbelievable desire.”
With 143 tackles last year, Campbell was second in the Big Ten and fifth all-time in a single season at Iowa.
“He is a leader in his way,” Ferentz said. “But he’s authentic, he’s humble, and really driven to do his best, and he’s doing it for all the right reasons. He’s got great pride in what he does, but he also feels a responsibility to really be at his best for our team. As a coach, you just value that so much and appreciate it.”
Apparently, the voters do as well.