Even though Ohio State has started taking a more "national" approach to recruiting since Urban Meyer and company took the reigns of the football programs a couple of years back, it hasn't stopped them from taking the top players in the state of Ohio. One of which was Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St Mary athlete Parris Campbell, who committed to the Scarlet and Gray about a year before National Signing Day 2014.
Take a trip down memory lane and find out what kind of early impact he could have for the Buckeyes, as we bring you "Bucks to the Future", Parris Campbell edition.
Weight: 184 pounds
247Sports Composite: 22nd best wide receiver, number four player in the state of Ohio, and 139th player in the country.
High School: St. Vincent-St Mary High School, Akron, Ohio
We begin one of the shortest chapters of our "Dream 14" recruiting profiles. On January 17th, 2013, Parris Campbell received his first scholarship offer, which came from none other than the Ohio State Buckeyes. At the time he was offered, I do not think the offer was committable, but it meant the Buckeyes were definitely interested in his services and wanted to get him on campus for a visit before making the scholarship offer actionable.
In the next couple of weeks, the speedy Campbell picked up scholarship offers from the likes of Tennessee, Michigan State, and Indiana. Campbell was a player on the rise heading into his Ohio State visit, which took place on February 10th when the Buckeyes were set to face the Indiana Hoosiers in a major basketball showdown that would go on to play a big role in who would win the Big Ten championship.
The Buckeyes got off to a great start when Lancaster (OH) offensive tackle Kyle Trout told Urban Meyer that he wanted to be a Buckeye and committed to Ohio State. Next there was even more good news as Southfield (MI) defensive end Lawrence Marshall committed to the Buckeyes, a move that stunned many as most thought Michigan and Michigan State were the favorites to land him. As we know now, that ended up being the case as Marshall ended up decommittingjust three or four days later after he managed to take two or three additional college visits to non-Ohio State schools in the time since he had committed (a move that likely didn't go over well with the Ohio State coaching staff). Marshall ended up committing and signing with Michigan when it was all said and done and will probably be a good player for the Wolverines over his time in Ann Arbor.
Finally, it was Campbell's turn to give the coaching staff some good news. He found out that he had a committable offer to play his football at Ohio State and told the coaching staff that he was gong to be a Buckeye, effectively ending his recruitment. At the time, he was the fifth member of the "Dream 14", but when Marshall decommitted, he became the fourth member of the class.
In an interview with Land-Grant Holy Land following his commitment, Campbell indicated he was glad he was able to get his recruitment over with quickly as Ohio State was the place he wanted to be.
"Thank you very much. It felt really good. To end the recruiting process and tell people that I'm ending up where I always wanted to go was great."
Interestingly enough, his relationship with former Ohio State defensive line coach, Mike Vrabel, was a big factor in his decision. As we know, Vrabel leaving Columbus for an NFL job with the Houston Texans didn't ultimately play a huge role in the electric athlete honoring his commitment, though:
"Yeah, Coach Vrabel. He really made me feel at home. When we first met, I immediately noticed that he was a well-rounded guy and very accessible. When he speaks, you are immediately interested, and that's just the type of guy he is. My first time down at Ohio State, he made me feel at home and like I had no worries."
There's also a chance Campbell could join Devin Smith on Ohio State's track team next spring as he is one of the top runners in the state of Ohio.
I'm actually kind of second guessing that right now. At first, I was completely football. Now, I'm thinking about possibly changing my mind.
From his commitment on, Campbell's recruitment wasn't very eventful. He wasn't a guy who attended many camps, but he did make it to the Columbus NFTC camp in the early part of June, where he earned an invite to Nike's The Opening.
At The Opening, he showed off his athleticism, recording a 4.41 time in the 40-yard dash and clocking in at 4.16 in the shuttle run.
It was then time for his senior season of football where he was tasked with defending his high school's state championship along with star linebacker and fellow Ohio State signee, Dante Booker Jr., who gave the Buckeyes his commitment just a couple of months after his teammate.
In the middle of the season, when his team was undefeated, Campbell took a trip to Columbus along with Booker to watch the Buckeyes rip apart Penn State in a 63-14 blowout win. The teammates had a good time on their visit, but it was time to get back to Akron to finish defending their state title.
The Fighting Irish ran through the Division III playoffs and met Dayton Trotwood-Madison in the state championship game. The Rams were no match for the Irish and their stellar defense as Campbell and Booker led their team to a 24-0 victory. This was the final chapter in Campbell's stellar high school career as he wasn't picked for any of the post-season All-American games.
Campbell took his official visit to Columbus the weekend of January 31st, the weekend before National Signing Day. Just a couple of days after, he signed his National Letter of Intent, making him an official member of the Ohio State football team.
Campbell is the closest thing to a running back the Buckeyes took in their 2014 class and he played the position quite regularly in high school. While he's not going to be running in between the tackles, I think he could be used in a role similar to the one Dontre Wilson played last year, where he'll see some time at wide receiver, in addition to some time in the backfield.
I don't think he'll make an impact this season and also think the odds are very high he redshirts as he has quite a bit of learning do not. While I don't think we'll see him on the field this year, there's no question he has quite a bit of upside and has the chance to develop into a very good player during his time in Columbus.
For more on Campbell's game, here's what our Christopher Jason had to say about the speedster after studying his highlight tape:
Campbell is an interesting prospect, as he broke the single-season rushing record at St. Vincent-St. Mary this season and is the school's second all-time leading rusher, but he is being recruited to play wide receiver. SV-SM used Campbell primarily as their tailback and on jet motion from the slot. He played sparingly as a receiver and the few times he did, his route running was very raw. He is a natural athlete so he could be coached up into a Philly Brown-type role but if I were to take a guess, I think he will be more of a change-of-pace type back or a receiver whose game stays inside the numbers.
It's going to be fun to see how Campbell develops. He will certainly have a lot of competition for playing time, even in his class as fellow signees Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin have a similar makeup.
Obligatory GIF, Highlights
(Most recent highlights on YouTube are from his junior season)
You can watch highlights from his senior season courtesy of Hudl here.
Did you know...
– Campbell is one of the youngest players in the 2014 recruiting class as a whole. In fact, he still can't drive a car with more than one other additional person in yet as he is still 16 years old (he committed when he was 15).
– He doesn't turn 17 years of age until this summer and won't be 18 until his sophomore year of college.