Ohio State WR Parris Campbell races past rival Michigan, up NFL draft boards
After a 62-39 drubbing of rival Michigan, there is plenty of credit to go around in Columbus today.
Certainly head coach Urban Meyer, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins and a stout offensive line deserve kudos for producing the most points ever allowed by Michigan in the 114 previous showdowns between the longtime powerhouse programs.
But if you want the real reason why Ohio State was so successful in dominating a Wolverines defense that entered the game ranked No. 1 in the country, you don’t need an advanced degree in coaching, passing or blocking.
You need speed – and Ohio State certainly showcased that in the form of senior wide receiver Parris Campbell, among others.
Campbell was only officially credited with six touches Saturday but he made the most of them, registering a career-high 192 combined rushing and receiving yards and scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to help the Buckeyes pull away from the favored Wolverines.
His biggest play – a 78 yard rushing touchdown off of a simple fly sweep – perfectly illustrates Campbell’s exceptional speed, including his late ability to pull away.
Campbell’s jets even caught the attention of LeBron James, a longtime Buckeyes supporter.
What makes Campbell – NFLDraftScout.com’s top-rated senior receiver – different than some of the other speed merchants throughout college football is that he possesses a legitimate NFL frame to go along with his acceleration, checking in at a rock-solid 6-0, 208 pounds.
Campbell’s greater body armor makes him much more likely to be able to withstand the punishment receivers face in the NFL. He showed his willingness to handle underneath duties against Michigan, cutting back the grain after this quick screen before hitting the accelerator button to turn what should have been a five yard gain on 2nd and 15 into a 33-yard chunk play that had the vaunted Wolverines defense scrambling.
Of course, the NFL draft has been littered with teams drafting receivers who possess extraordinary feet or height but bricks for hands. As such, it is always good to see body control and hand strength like what Campbell showed on this fourth quarter touchdown.
Scouts have to pay extra attention to any opportunities Campbell has to catch the ball as a run-heavy offense prior to his future first round teammate, Haskins, taking over at quarterback in 2018 left few opportunities to pad statistics. His touchdown reception Saturday against the Wolverines was his 10th of the season, but just the 13th of his college career.