George Campbell Shows Out on Senior Day
George Campbell has done a whole lot in a short time as a West Virginia Mountaineer. Now in Morgantown for still less than six months, the Floridian capped off what has been an exciting and all too brief time at Milan Puskar Stadium with a strong Senior Day performance.
Finishing his final game at home with five catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, Campbell continued to show not only his prodigious physical gifts but also the powerful connection he has with Jarret Doege that has resulted in three touchdowns in Doege’s two weeks as West Virginia’s starting quarterback. Despite a rocky five years spent at Florida State, the speedster has managed to breathe life into a group of Mountaineer receivers that was decimated by injuries earlier in the season.
Campbell’s tenure in Tallahassee was one plagued by injury and affected by a coaching change. A graduate of East Lake High School, he was considered to be among the nation’s best in the class of 2015 and earned a five-star composite recruit rating. While considered one of the Seminoles’ best special teams players, he could never quite crack the starting lineup consistently for one reason or another. Campbell redshirted his true sophomore year after suffering a season-ending injury after just four games including two starts, as a redshirt sophomore.
The potential that Campbell showed before his injury was never manifested on the field as he appeared in just seven games and made only four catches. He decided that his best course of action was to find another place to play in hopes of getting more consistent playing time with only one year of eligibility remaining. Initially committing to Penn State, Campbell had second thoughts about his desire to go to Happy Valley and within a week was on a flight to Morgantown to join the Mountaineers.
With little track record and a history of injury, not much other than leadership was expected of the redshirt senior. That sentiment did not prove to be true. In each of his first three games in gold and blue, Campbell snagged a touchdown from Austin Kendall on just four total catches. Things slowed down over the next four weeks with the transfer securing just one ball for seven yards in that time frame.
Against Baylor, everything turned around. It was his only grab of the game but Campbell’s 83-yard sprint to the end zone energized the Mountaineers in an upset bid, especially after injuries to fellow receivers Sean Ryan and T.J. Simmons in recent weeks.
While West Virginia ultimately fell in Waco, Campbell was back on track and made his presence felt in the next three games. Kendall then got his deep threat back in his first game back. Making only three catches, Campbell was still able to roll up 95 yards, including a 50-yard snag that brought Mountaineer Field to its feet.
Building on his most recent performance, the Kansas State game proved to be the best performance of Campbell’s career. Showing off outstanding chemistry with new starter Doege, he made plenty of plays in the Mountaineers’ upset of the ranked Wildcats. Putting up 92 yards on five catches, the man who has become known as “Touchdown George” hauled two more in, the second of which included three broken tackles on the way to the end zone.
In the last of his games in Morgantown, Campbell put on a show for the third straight week. His five catches for 92 yards and another touchdown helped West Virginia battle the 21st ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. The spark that he brought to the offense cannot be understated even in the Mountaineers' loss.
As his final season of college football nears its conclusion, the effort that Campbell has put in is finally paying off but its the teammates he’s going out with that stand out to him the most.
“Just being able to go out there with those guys and fight the way we did,” Campbell said, “even though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, we still gave it all and that effort was there from every guy on the team.”
It is probably safe to say that George Campbell’s career has not been exactly what he expected it to be when he enrolled at Florida State. However, the way that he has performed in his lone season at West Virginia has become a storybook ending for a much-deserving player. One would start to think that the exploits of “Touchdown George” will be remembered for many a year in the homes of the Mountaineer faithful.