Christian Campbell has appeared in a total of 20 games in his career as a backup safety primarily seeing time on Special Teams. He stepped into the starting role for AJ Gray at the end of last season.
What he did in 2017
While being primarily a Special Teams player for the 2017 season, Christian Campbell stepped into the starting free safety role following the injury of AJ Gray. His one start came against Virginia where he recorded a season-high five tackles and a pass defended. He also logged one tackle for loss which came against Clemson for a loss of 17 yards. He recorded two solo tackles during the Clemson game as well.
At the start of the 2016 season, Campbell was the heir apparent to QB Justin Thomas but was moved to the defensive side of the ball in spring practice. The move at the time was logical because of the lack of depth at the safety position and the need for more talent on the defensive side. Campbell is an all-around solid athlete that had a better shot at playing time by switching positions.
What to expect in 2018
Campbell was originally slated to be behind senior AJ Gray this season. However, with Gray’s retirement due to medical issues in the offseason, Campbell will slide right into the starting role in 2018.
Campbell could also stay on the Special Teams side as a more experienced voice for the unit that gave up an average of 24.48 yards per kick return and ranked 117th in the country.
Campbell could have a pretty solid opportunity to become a vocal leader off the field and a leader of the secondary as well on the field. While being then into the starters role was not the original plan, Campbell has had plenty of time to get ready for his new role and he a vital part of the Jackets secondary.