- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
He will not shy away from contact, not one bit.
A lot of the oohs and ahhs heard from the St. Mary’s Ryken High School crowd on Friday nights came after seeing senior running back KaDarius Campbell run the football.
He used his speed to run from linebackers but used his physical nature to often seek them out and create contact himself.
On Wednesday, Campbell created a different type of contact — in the form of pen to paper as he signed his national letter of intent to play football for NCAA Division I Saint Francis University (Pa.) on National Signing Day.
“I am really excited, and I am just ready to get back in some pads and start playing hard,” Campbell said. “I am really happy about it being a Division I school. They are an up-and-coming football team, and they are really working hard.”
The future Red Flash football player totaled 13 touchdowns on 794 rushing yards during his senior year at Ryken, the best football season in program history.
The physical back will now take his style to the next level and believes that his nature of play will bode well at the Division I level.
“At the Division I college level, those guys are big and fast,” Campbell said. “I think that my physicality should help because a lot of freshmen go in there maybe not at the same level in the weight room, but I think my physicality should help a lot.”
Not only will the size of the players be a transition for the two-year Ryken player, but he believes that another aspect of the college game will come as a transition.
“From what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen, the game speed,” Campbell said of possibly the biggest transition. “In just one second, [things] can be gone away. With the holes and the visions, you have to go more off of instinct. You can’t really plan it out in your head; you have to go off instinct and have to get used to that speed.”
Campbell also mentioned that terminology will be an adjustment, mentioning that in high school, a play with a simple name such as, “Power” will include various names and numbers at the next level.
“That’s one thing I have to learn,” he added.
St. Francis appeared on Campbell’s radar after the Knights won their regular-season finale, 41-0, over Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro, and that interest turned into a January visit and culminated with his signing.
“In the one visit that I had, they showed a lot of interest in me,” Campbell said. “They said that I was going to be their guy and in my freshman year. I wanted to go in and make an impact. That’s what helped me make my decision, playing time.”
In his first year as Ryken head coach after spending nine seasons at Huntingtown, Jerry Franks coached the team to the most wins in program history with seven, but it was off the field where Franks’ biggest accomplishment came, according to Campbell and his fellow signees.
“Jerry Franks helped a lot,” Campbell admitted of the recruiting process. “He knows a lot of people. The success of this season helped a lot.”
And on why the season was a success, Campbell added, “It was the head coach. He was the new leader of the program and the mind set he brought to us, we changed a lot. We knew we could win, and we felt like we owed the school something. We wanted give them something to brag about. ... We felt we needed to represent the school and show that we could win.”
Campbell was one of three Ryken football players to sign on National Signing Day.
Quarterback Ryan Deal signed with West Virginia Wesleyan College, and wide receiver/defensive back DeMarco Rojas signed with Lake Erie College (Ohio).