PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– Bay High football player CJ Campbell Jr. has decided to take a preferred walk-on offer to play football at Florida State University next season.
He was offered a scholarship to Davidson College during the middle of his senior year. He then had Bucknell University and Samford University show interest, they too wanted to offer him two spots.
Campbell said the offer to play for a Power 5 school in Tallahassee was something he couldn’t pass up.
“I chose them because it’s closer to home… it was kind of a win-win because I was close, and then I won’t really have to worry about paying too much, and then I get to play the sport that I love,” he said.
Because Campbell boasts a 4.6 GPA and earned the ACE Scholarship, he will have his tuition fully paid for.
“I take pride in that because not many people do that but it’s always a good thing to be a double edge sword and have athletics and athleticism,” he said.
Campbell said Bay High football alum and Florida State Defensive End Janarius Robinson helped him get noticed by FSU.
“He’s really the one that started putting my name out there toward his coaches, he was like y’all really have to pick up this kid, y’all won’t even have to worry about his academic or anything,” Campbell said.
Campbell said when he got to Bay High just before his junior year, he told head football coach Keith Bland that he wanted to play college football. The coach told Campbell they would make that happen for him, the opposite end of the spectrum from what the athlete was used to at his previous high school in Louisianna.
“Bay High, they really helped put me in the right direction, because like where I’m coming from, they don’t help at all, like they don’t help put your name out there, they use you and that’s it, ” he said.
This achievement is not one Campbell is taking lightly, he knows it will impact those that he loves.
“I’m extremely happy because I can be the first college athlete and the first college student in my family, so that’s going to feel good it’s also going to create a path for my younger brothers, my younger siblings,” Campbell said.
Campbell has overcome a lot of adversity in his life, making the feat even more impressive. He spoke to News 13 about those struggles when he was our Scholar Athlete of the Week, you can see our full story on him by clicking here.