Just looking at the raw numbers from last season, you may not think Georgia Southern wide receiver Myles Campbell had much of an impact, but you would be wrong.
Although the majority of his numbers came in just two games, Campbell balled out against arguably the two toughest teams the Eagles faced off against last season in Arkansas State and Ole Miss.
Both games were similar in tone: Southern’s opponents let the Eagles hang around for far too long, and if this had been the 2015 team, that could have been two wins.
But despite last season’s offense being a disaster, save for the regular season finale, Campbell brought his ‘A-game’ against two incredibly talented opponents.
The senior-to-be hauled in 31 passes last year from quarterbacks Kevin Ellison, Favian Upshaw, and Seth Shuman for 384 yards and four touchdowns in an offense with no identity last year. With receivers B.J. Johnson and Montay Crockett headed to the NFL, could Campbell be ready to take the next step and become the No. 1 wideout in a retooled offensive scheme?
Myles Campbell had 121 receiving yards today at Ole Miss, that is the highest total for a GS player in the last six seasons pic.twitter.com/sobBV1O1zs— GS Eagle Athletics (@GSAthletics) November 5, 2016
Take a look at the big play numbers from the Ole Miss game above and then watch this play from the Arkansas State game that perfectly shows off his ability to run after the catch:
Campbell catches a simple curl pattern and uses his agility to put Arkansas State defender Bo Sentimore in a blender and then showcases his straight line speed to extend Southern’s lead at the time.
The wideout ended up catching six passes in that game for 98 yards and the touchdown above, and needs to see more reps in the passing game in 2017.
While Campbell showed flashes for Southern last season, he will undoubtedly need to be a force in all 12 games if he wants to take the next step in Bryan Cook’s new offense.
And I have said dating back to last year that if the team wants to become a perennial power in the Sun Belt it will need to show at the very least the ability to pick up first downs through the air to keep other teams honest.
At this point, you or I know just as much as head coach Tyson Summers does about who will start week one for the Eagles, but no matter who it is, if (and when) the team drops back to pass it should look to get #6 the ball in space and let Campbell work.