Standing in the shade behind the massive wooden tower at Camp Higher Ground I spoke to Mr. Garrett Campbell following practice on Thursday while he scarfed down a perfectly constructed snow cone on this blistering hot day in Indiana. Garrett is always a treat. One of the favorites to interview on the UC football team, this sixth-year senior is relishing every last moment dawning the red and black.
Senior offensive lineman #72 Garrett Campbell is a mountain of a man. Under the impression last year would be his last season in a Bearcats uniform, Campbell was thrilled to find out his medical redshirt was granted and he could return for his sixth dose of Camp Higher Ground.
So how do you survive training camp? In Garrett’s words, “live in the moment.” “Just take it one day at a time and enjoy the time with your friends.” Don’t look ahead. Don’t dwell on the past. Live in the moment. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. Practice by practice. And take advantage of your off-days.
Yesterday, for instance, Campbell did not go to the pool or go ziplining. He relaxed, took it easy, and hung out in Kyle Trout’s room all day long. According to Garrett, “the best part of being out here is spending time with your brothers.” Moreover, he was quick to point out there is a 300-pound weight limit for the zipline, and Garret – being the straight-A student he is – didn’t want to test his luck.
Garrett is a role model in and out of the classroom and an excellent teammate. He has already taken young freshman o-lineman Jeremy Cooper under his wings. Coming from Chicago, Coop is already 6’ 2” and 295 pounds. The two worked out together over the summer and Campbell is showing him the ropes to make it through and excel in his first year. Always humble, Garrett claims Coop is already stronger than he will ever become.
In describing the record-setting freshman football class in Clifton, Garrett spoke very highly. “I have never seen an incoming class with this size before.” Also, “there is a lot of athleticism in the wide receiver and tight-end groups.” The future is bright in Nippert Stadium.
Off the football field, “Garrett is a big video game guy.” A fan of Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, and Battlefield, Campbell loves to play his Xbox One. An academic at heart, Garrett has also picked up a liking for crossword puzzles.
Mr. Campbell is most looking forward to the UCLA game this year. “Rose Bowl. California. Big stage.” And his parents and sister will get to attend the game and watch Garrett start.
We can’t wait for September 1st to get here.
By Andy Smith
Here’s the full interview: