Monday, March 4, 2024

Iowa’s Jack Campbell gets choked up at NFL combine reflecting on Kirk Ferentz

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If there is any question what Kirk Ferentz has meant to Iowa Hawkeyes players over the last handful of decades, there shouldn’t be anything left to wonder about. That is because of the powerful and moving interview that Hawkeye linebacker Jack Campbell gave at the NFL Combine when he was asked about his former head coach.

Campbell was speaking on NFL Network when he was asked about Ferentz’s impact on his career. It is special to see the bond the two have and what they mean to one other.

“There’s no one in college football like him. I owe him a lot, and I’m forever grateful for him giving me opportunities. It’s hard not to. I know I always, I kind of get emotional about him, but just what he does for college football, people don’t understand it.

“What a great role model he is for everyone in the sport. He’s been there for the past 24 seasons and he’s always held the standard to the highest. Again, we’re going to go out there every season and have a really, really, solid season and he’s going to develop guys. He’s got that developmental mindset rather than the talent acquisition model. We’re a developmental model. And man, any kid that goes to the Hawkeye program, I’m going to have their back. Just playing for that man right there has been something truly special to me,” Campbell said of Ferentz.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen the bond between player and coach on display. The love from Campbell was reciprocated by his head coach ahead of Iowa’s date in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl against Kentucky.

Ahead of Iowa’s 21-0 defensive gem over Kentucky, Ferentz got choked up when asked what it meant to him that Campbell said the main reason he came to Iowa was because of Ferentz. Campbell also made it clear that Ferentz was the primary reason he wanted to wear the Tigerhawk one final time in the Hawkeyes’ bowl game.

Of course, Jack Campbell recently became Iowa’s first ever Butkus Award winner. The 6-foot-5, 246 pound linebacker out of Cedar Falls racked up 128 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, had three pass breakups, a pair of interceptions and one sack in 2022.

Campbell put on quite a show for himself at the NFL Combine as well. It sets  him up in good standing to climb NFL draft boards before the event gets underway from Kansas City’s Union Station beginning on Thursday, April 27.

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