At the end of one-on-one passing drills back in high school, one lineman would throw his opponent to the ground - to the amusement of everyone watching. Costa figured he wouldn’t witness it again - until Campbell pulled it off.
“I haven’t seen too many people do that in college,” Costa said. “To be honest with you, I haven’t seen anybody who’s able to do that in college.”
Perhaps the finest tales are the ones Campbell tells in a deep voice befitting a man of his stature. Oftentimes, an opponent will peel himself off the ground after a pancake block, shake his head and mutter: “You’re too big, man. You just need to stop. I won’t ever do anything.”
That leaves Campbell to do little but chuckle and run the guy over again.
“When I hear that, I actually think: ‘My job here is done. Now I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing for the rest of the game just to solidify and make sure it’s all sealed up and done,’ ” Campbell said. “I pretty much try to keep doing something to them so that they’re [saying], ‘Wow, that’s a big person, and he’s physical and mean and played the whole game the same way.’ ”
Considering his run blocking only can improve as he learns how to remain low to prevent defensive linemen from gaining any leverage, it scares even teammates to think how good Campbell could be once his college career is over.
“Bruce is a complete monster,” receiver Adrian Cannon said. “He’s a freak of nature.”
Weight of the world
Galt calls Campbell “a big Vernon,” a nod to the ripped tight end who was the sixth pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. But there’s a chance Campbell could provide an even greater lift for the Terps than Davis, whose last two seasons coincided with the only times in the past eight years Maryland did not secure a bowl invitation.
He also could prove more useful than the previous massive lineman to pass through the program. That was Jared Gaither, who stayed only two seasons before academic issues sent him to the NFL’s supplemental draft and a productive career in Baltimore.
Campbell doesn’t possess Gaither’s sheer size, but he did bench-press 490 pounds this summer. He probably would have set the school record at 505 pounds but attempted it just after hitting 490 moments earlier.
But even that miss added to Campbell’s aura.
“There was so much weight on the bars [that] there almost wasn’t enough space,” quarterback Chris Turner said. “You had to put a little piece of tape on it to make sure it didn’t fall off. That’s how strong Bruce is. We don’t have enough weights for him in the weight room.”
Tales like those reinforce not only the remarkable asset the Terps have on their most vulnerable unit but also what a coveted commodity he will be in the future.
Yet he’s also a few months past his 21st birthday. Young said his mammoth teammate is occasionally the ringleader of the line’s outings, and Campbell acknowledged he sometimes has to hold back a smile when a much smaller coach points a finger in his face to make a point.