Ohio State is certainly not lacking for representation at wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL), as 11 former Buckeyes at the position are currently listed on rosters.
One of those individuals is promising wideout Parris Campbell, now gearing up for his second year with the Indianapolis Colts after learning the ropes as a rookie. He appeared in seven games throughout an injury-plagued campaign, ultimately catching 18 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown before going on injured reserve in December with a broken foot. Prior to that, Campbell worked through a broken hand, bad hamstring and sports hernia.
Now, the up-and-coming target is reportedly garnering attention in training camp with routine confidence and explosive plays. The speedy Campbell, who clocked a lightning 4.31 in the 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine, is now developing a connection with new quarterback Philip Rivers as he looks to possibly settle as a No. 2 option behind star T.Y. Hilton.
That alone would make the speedster a nice sleeper candidate in fantasy football, with Rivers known to sling it around and Hilton likely attracting his share of attention.
“He looks strong, fast, smart, explosive, good hands, understands the offense, consistent,” head coach Frank Reich recently told USA Today when asked about Campbell. “I mean, it’s early but that’s what we are looking for from him. Now we just need that to continue to build.”
Campbell was actually involved in a minor car accident Wednesday morning and missed practice as a result. He briefly entered the concussion protocol but is expected to be just fine.
The Colts picked Campbell late in the second round, 59th overall, and have continued stockpiling youthful offensive firepower. Indy recently drafted running back Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) this past spring.
Campbell (6-0, 205) spent five years in Columbus, fighting through a loaded depth chart to warrant more playing time as the years progressed. He ended up becoming a 3x All-Big Ten selection, the first of those awards coming as a return specialist in 2016.
The Akron native, from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, then blossomed into a two-year starting receiver and flourished. He corralled 40 catches for 584 yards and three TD’s as a junior, followed by a decorated senior season that saw him post a whopping 90 receptions for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. That final run garnered first team All-Big Ten honors.
Campbell was part of two Big Ten Championship teams in his career and was a true freshman when the Buckeyes won their 2014-15 national title. Fellow college teammate Terry McClaurin also seems poised to take the next step this season.