Jayru Campbell is searching for a second chance.
He’ll have to wait at least one more season.
The former standout Cass Tech quarterback and current quarterback for Garden City Community College in Kansas spoke to the Free Press this afternoon on the football field at Detroit Northwestern high school.
Campbell was among numerous current Cass Tech players and alumni preparing to work out, including Michigan star cornerback Jourdan Lewis and Ohio State running back Mike Weber.
For Campbell, it has been a long, winding road to this point.
He was a four-star prospect after leading Cass Tech to two D-1 championships in his freshman and sophomore seasons and had committed to Michigan State. But after multiple violent off-field incidents, he landed in jail for a short time, missing his senior season and squandering his opportunity to play D-1 college football.
Campbell, who sported a clean cut without his dreadlocks, said today he’s “a lot wiser now” and that physical altercations and arguing “are a waste of time.”
He’s hoping to earn a chance somewhere after the conclusion of the upcoming season, his second JUCO season.
“Just earn a good scholarship and be able to go to a good school for free,” Campbell said.
He added a handful of school have reached out, including Central Michigan, Mississippi State and Temple.
“Whoever gives me an opportunity, that’s who I’m going to ride with,” Campbell said. “I’m not being too specific, not being picky.
“They’re pretty much asking about my grades, my behavior, what’s been going on. Basically, everybody is just, I guess, seeing how this next year is going to play out.”
As a freshman last season at Garden City, Campbell threw 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and rushed for two scores in eight games, but dealt with an onslaught of adversity on the field.
“It had a lot of twists and turns,” Campbell said of the season. “Our original offensive coordinator quit I think 10 days before the first game.”
Campbell and his teammates had to learn an entire new offense, and played nearly half the season without a running back in the backfield, going five-wide every play.
He was sacked a combined 28 times in the BroncBusters’ first two games and missed the third game with a shoulder injury en route to a 3-8 season.
“I learned how to be patient but have awareness,” he said.
Campbell is ready for the challenge that awaits him in his sophomore year, hoping to stay on track and convince D-1 college coaches he is worthy of a shot.
He plans to head back to Kansas “later on this month sometime and get ready to start the season.”
A season, Campbell hopes, will lead to him catching his dream.