New in ’15: Campbell aims to succeed Thomas

Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Christian Campbell was a two-sport star (football and basketball) at Ponchatoula (La.) High. (247 Sports)

Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Christian Campbell averaged almost 10 yards per rush as a senior at Ponchatoula (La.) High. (247 Sports)

Christian Campbell probably doesn’t realize it, but the Georgia Tech freshman quarterback knows exactly how to ingratiate himself with his new school’s fans.

When he was recruited by coaches from SEC schools, Campbell said, he heard about how the SEC was the best conference and how the conference sends the most players into the NFL draft. However, Campbell chose Tech, in part because it offered him the chance to play quarterback.

He didn’t give the rhetoric much thought, he said, “since Georgia Tech puts guys in the NFL almost every year. They beat two SEC schools last year, so it’s kind of just blowing smoke.”

Campbell, from Ponchatoula, La., will start his Tech career with no delusions about playing time this year. He does have high aspirations beyond that, however. Campbell said he wants to redshirt the 2015 season, sit behind quarterback Justin Thomas as a redshirt freshman in 2016 “and then hopefully I’ll get to start for three years.”

Campbell, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, is not unlike Thomas in some ways. He chose Tech for the chance to play quarterback, when other schools were interested in having him switch positions. He is a gifted athlete; his coach said that Campbell was one of the best option quarterbacks that he had been around in 35 years of coaching. He played in an offense with similarities to Tech’s.

And, not surprisingly, Campbell, who committed to Tech last June, was impacted by the way Thomas ran the Jackets’ spread-option offense last fall. He saw firsthand when he attended Tech’s win over Miami.

“And then the Mississippi State game was just like, wow,” Campbell said.

About Campbell

1. He will wear jersey No. 10.

2. One thing he made sure to bring to school: His car, a 2011 Buick Regal. “Very good car.”

3. He said he picked Tech over California. “The academics are better than most schools, but then at the end, the Georgia Tech football program was way, way better,” Campbell said, “and I know coach (Paul) Johnson will be there for a while.”

4. He was recruited by quarterbacks and B-backs coach Bryan Cook. “We built a really good relationship,” Campbell said.

5. Campbell is the first signee from Louisiana since 2007 (Jason Peters).

This is the first in a series of updates on Tech’s freshman class.


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