Name: Graydon Campbell
School: William & Mary
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
As a senior class, we set the goal of wanting to leave the program better than we found it. On a more individual level, I wanted to step into a bigger role on the field as well as prove myself to our new coaching staff and master the new defense we were moving to. Furthermore, I wanted to establish myself as a leader on the team as well as a mentor to our younger guys. In terms of all those goals I feel that I accomplished them in one way or another. As a senior class, we did leave the program better than we found it and although it wasn’t necessarily the type of success we envisioned, I do strongly believe we laid a sturdy foundation that will continue to be built off of. William and Mary is going to be a team to watch next year. As for my individual goals, I did establish a bigger role for myself on the team as I played both nose tackle and defensive end in our new defense. With this role, I can also say that I did become more of a leader with our new defense. I also played a crucial role on our punt unit. In regards to being more of a leader and mentor, I was elected to the team leadership council this year and was relied upon by coaches and teammates alike to set the standard for effort and accountability.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
My coaches and teammates consider me one of the hardest working guys in the locker room, as well as a team-first guy. Those would be the two characteristics I wanted to establish most about myself in my college career. I care about individual success because it is a way of proving to myself what I have accomplished. However, I far and above value the success of the team over everything. I am more excited to see my teammate make a big play or do really well than I would be if I did it. My coaches and teammates would say that I was one of the guys who was trying to do what was best for the team and trying to help set the standard and build a culture.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
When I watch film from practices or games that we’ve played, I look at my technique and the way I played the blocks I was getting. I really scrutinize the smaller details. I like to see and learn how I could play different blocks better. I also like to watch the tape so I can see things, like the type of pass protection, and see ways I could’ve played it better. Or maybe something I didn’t see at the time on the field, that I want to make sure I see next time. I also use my time in the film room to watch how my teammates play against blocks or protections and the types of things they do. If I like something they did or feel like they’re better in a certain aspect of the game, I’ll look at the stuff they do and try to add it to my own game.
In terms of scouting other teams, I typically look a lot at the stances of the OL and any indicators they can give about the snap count, run or pass tells, or if they have a different stance for different run blocks. I also like to look at the type of pass protector they are. I like to see if they are more of a grabber or if they’re going to sit back and wait for you to move. On top of the more individual style of play of each OL, I like to look at the overall way they block and protect as a line. There are small differences in the ways some OL will block a full slide protection or a gap scheme and I like to prepare myself to be ready if I see that on Game Day.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
At the end of the day, everybody who is a pro prospect works hard and is a good football player, otherwise they wouldn’t be trying to go to the next level. What separates me is my versatility and ability to adapt. I’ve played nearly every position on the OL and DL in my college career. Having played in a pro style offense as well as playing in both a 4-3 base defense and a 3-4. I know how to be successful at my craft in different roles and schemes. My ability to adjust to change to my surroundings and experience playing multiple positions is what makes me a unique pro prospect.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I’ve been back home training with my trainer Chris Burgess at Armory Strength and Speed. He’s been training me for the past 6 years. He has high expectations for me and as such, he’s really pushed me to a whole new level in regards to my strength, speed, and overall conditioning. Recently, we’ve been training for the CFL Regional Combine in Montreal.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
My biggest strengths are my work ethic, my tenacity and drive, and my versatility. I am a hard worker who really likes to think and research the ways in which I can get better. I look at my preparation from every aspect, whether that be in the weight room, on the field, or in terms of my nutrition and recovery. Furthermore, I’m a guy who understands how to succeed in the roles I am placed in. I will always try to reach the role I have envisioned for myself, but I am more than capable of playing other roles if my ideal role is not available.
In terms of my physical characteristics, I am an athlete who plays football. I have played multiple positions on the OL and DL as well as being a special teamer. I’m a plug and play kind of guy. On top of this, my experience from all of these positions allows me to think about the game without being stuck in the box of the way one position thinks about the game. I’m good at dissecting pass protections as a DL because I understand the structure of those protections from an OL point of view, for example.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL or any other pro leagues?
I believe that I am one of the most versatile prospects in this draft class. I have collegiate experience at multiple positions across the offensive and defensive lines, and have the adaptability and athleticism to adjust to any role that a pro league could see me fitting into. I am intelligent, tenacious, driven, and I know what it takes to succeed and how to fight through adversity because I’ve had to fight for playing time and fight to distinguish myself from my peers.