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Northwestern football signing day profiles 2016: CB Roderick Campbell, Jr.

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The highly-touted cornerback comes into a crowded secondary.

Photo: Student Sports

QUICK HITS

POSITION: Cornerback
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 180
HOMETOWN: St. Louis, MO
HIGH SCHOOL: Chaminade College Prep
247 COMPOSITE RATING: ★★★ (.8677)
NATIONAL RANK: 520
POSITION RANK: 48
STATE RANK: 4
OTHER OFFERS: Cincinnati, Maryland, Arizona St., Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Purdue, Vanderbilt
MORE: 247 ProfileHudlTwitter

BACKGROUND

Campbell, Northwestern's second-highest rated commitment in the Class of 2016, committed back in April of 2015, becoming the third member of the class. As seen above, this was a big win for the Wildcats and Dennis Springer, who led the recruiting effort. Northwestern got the Chaminade Prep product over several strong potential suitors, including Notre Dame, Arizona St. and several Big Ten schools. Although he's a high three-star according to 247, Rivals lists him as a four-star prospect. Here are his highlights:

Campbell shows the ability to play press coverage in his highlights, and although he's not necessarily really physical near the line of scrimmage, he shows really good speed (he ran a 4.46 forty at The Opening Columbus), acceleration and change-of-direction ability. He plays aggressively without fouling and uses his long arms and ball-tracking ability to his advantage. He also breaks on the ball very quickly and shows the ability and willingness to come up and tackle ballcarriers.

OUTLOOK

Campbell joins what is already a talented secondary, with senior Matt Harris and junior Keith Watkins likely to be the starters. Behind those two is likely some combination of Marcus McShepard, Montre Hartage and perhaps Parrker Westphal, who's dealt with injuries ever since he arrived on campus but was once a huge get for Northwestern and is just a sophomore in terms of eligibility. Kyle Queiro could also be a cornerback or a safety depending on how things shape up over spring ball and over the summer.

But it's not unheard of for Northwestern to have true freshmen cornerback a bypass a redshirt year. Last year, it was Hartage who saw time (mostly on special teams) and two years before him, Matt Harris played as a true freshman. Given his impressive skill set and recruiting profile, it certainly wouldn't be a shock to see the Gateway City native on the field, but given the depth at the position, Campbell might have to wait until 2017 to make his biggest impact. Nevertheless, this was a big-time recruiting win for Northwestern, and he's certainly an exciting prospect, whether for the upcoming season or for afterward.