August 24, 2008

Rebels land punter for 2009

With Ole Miss punter Rob Park headed into his senior season, the Rebels are in the need for a punter for 2009 and have acted early to land one almost five months before signing day.

Little Rock (Catholic HS), Ark. punter Tyler Campbell was no stranger to the Ole Miss staff long before he made his first trip to Oxford last March for junior day as he was familiar with them before their move from Fayetteville.

After having a strong season as a sophomore in 2006 where he averaged 38 yards a kick and was a pre-season all-state selection headed into his junior year, Campbell suffered a knee injury after just four games last season. He averaged 44 yards a kick, but didn't have any highlight video to show the staff of last season due to his injury.

All that changed when Campbell showed up at Ole Miss' senior camp last month.

"I went out side to kick and I was taking snaps from the 25-yard line and I hit one that landed at the other end of the field where coach (Mike) Markuson was working with some offensive linemen around the 25 yard line. That's the first time they had seen me kick and I think they were pretty impressed."

Campbell said Ole Miss coaches promised an offer "later" saying a scholarship for next year wasn't available, but then he recently got word that Ole Miss coaches wanted him to call.

"That's when I got the offer, when I called them," he said. "I got an official letter a few days later. They told me to just take my time and think about it. I talked it over with my parents and decided to go ahead and commit."

While the Ole Miss offer is currently the only offer for Campbell, he attended camp at Arkansas a week after the Ole Miss camp and was told the Razorbacks wanted to evaluate him during his senior season.

The offer has Campbell currently firmly in the Rebels' corner.

"They've been my number one," he said. "My commitment closes the door on my recruitment."

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