MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Injuries have helped earn Shea Campbell significant playing time. Recently, the Morgantown native found himself starting for West Virginia.
In his first start against Baylor, Campbell made some big plays, including a huge interception that had everyone roaring.
“I was just flowing with the running back and I saw that it bounced off of him. It couldn’t have landed more perfectly in my lap,” he said after the game. “My first thought was, ‘I’ve got to get on the ground.’ I wasn’t really worried about scoring. I had the ball, and I was like, ‘I have to get down,’ and as soon as I hit the ground, it was, ‘Where’s the official at? I don’t want to get a flag on my first interception and my first turnover.’ As soon as the official got the ball, it was all a blur from there.”
While the Mountaineers’ options at linebacker have been few and far between this season, the 5-foot-11, 240-pound linebacker has made the most of his playing time.
“I think mostly just doing my job and doing what I can for the team,” Campbell said. “I think with guys going down, I think it’s my opportunity to step up and do the best that I can in the middle.”
The redshirt junior struggled earlier in the season when Charlie Benton suffered a season-ending knee injury but hard work and consistency have paid off the last few weeks.
“I think Shea is playing really well right now,” defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. “Obviously, it started at Iowa State. Just seeing his consistency over the last couple of weeks, he’s getting better. I really enjoy watching him play right now. He’s making a lot of plays and making things happen. So, I’m happy with where he’s at, and he’ll continue to get better with the more reps he gets.”
For Campbell, he is starting to feel at home at the MIKE linebacker position versus the SAM, which has likely played a role in his success.
“From where I view it, I feel more comfortable there,” Campbell said. “I’m not 220 (pounds), I’m 235 (pounds). I think that I can hit players more than other guys because of my size at MIKE.”
Cover Photo Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports