There have been plenty of excellent redemption stories in the NFL. Kurt Warner is perhaps the most notable — he went from a stock boy at a supermarket to NFL MVP. Recently we wrote about Nate Hughes, a registered nurse who was trying to make the Lions as a wide receiver. He didn’t make their 53-man roster but he was signed to their practice squad. Now we have another great story, only this one is about a player who actually made the roster.
Tommie Campbell has made the Tennessee Titans as one of their five cornerbacks, an impressive story given his circuitous college career that included six months working as an airport janitor. He’s currently listed second on their depth chart at right cornerback.
Campbell played high school football and was a state champion as a sprinter for Aliquippa in Pennsylvania. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was one of his teammates on the football and track team. After high school, Campbell went to Pitt for two years but had poor classroom habits and was suspended. He then attended D-II Edinboro University but lasted only a year because he skipped too many classes.
Campbell then worked as a janitor at Pittsburgh International Airport for six months. He figured his football career was over until he received a call offering him one more shot at playing football. He accepted the offer and helped lead California University of Pennsylvania to the playoffs.
Campbell played well all season and was invited to two post-season all-star games. He ran a 4.33 and 4.31 in the 40-yard dash at the Cactus Bowl and ended up being drafted by the Titans in the 7th round of April’s draft. Four months later he’s now on their official roster. Not bad for a guy who was working at the airport thinking he was done playing football, huh?
Chest bump to Black Sports Online for the story
Picture Credit: Scout.com