Caleb’s Story

We are only one week to the day since the Lions decided to invest in a Nebraskan product to help shore up their defense. The overall NFL Draft has been considered by many pundits for the Lions as a success, with perhaps three starters to come out of the event. With the excitement demonstrated by both players and fans, there is almost the temptation to present expectations for a team that has lost 30 over the previous two seasons.

At the 2008 NFL Draft, the second day of coverage on ESPN featured a strong safety from Army with a controversy swirling around. For those of you who are familiar with the cadets from West Point, there is a wee bit of a post-graduation obligation to serve two years in the military. Following in the footsteps of one of his teammates, Caleb Campbell expected to get his obligation deferred while he played professional football. Nonetheless, the pre 0-16 Lions decided to take Campbell with a 7th round selection to the throngs of cheers and a standing ovation in New York City.

Following reporting to Allen Park for Lions training camp, Campbell was immediately pulled due to a change in Army rules. Before he could take his first snap in the NFL, he was sent to begin his military service, immediately placing his NFL career in doubt. Now comes word that Caleb Campbell has signed a tryout deal with the Lions for the 2010 season.

Campbell was truly a rare talent coming from the US Military Academy. He was the first player in over a decade to get taken in the NFL Draft by one of the teams, and it seemed that his star was very bright. If Campbell were to have some substantial success in the NFL, especially with the Lions, I think that this would change how many viewed the squad and how players from the military outlets would be viewed moving forward.