Of course, the hair caught my eye first.
“How in the world do those braids not get yanked in the pile?” I thought.
So, I started watching De’Vondre Campbell a little closer than I would have. Pretty quickly I realized how good he is. Timing is everything in athletics and this seems like a perfect example. In his sixth NFL season, Campbell comes to the Packers both seasoned and still hungry right when Green Bay really needs some defensive help. It seems like he’s developed poise and an excellent sense of the game to go along with his natural speed and athletic ability.
Also, he really loves his mom.
Here are 10 reasons I’m inviting you to join my De’Vondre Campbell fan club.
- His first NFL sack came at the expense of none other than our own Aaron Rodgers. That’s why it’s good to have him on our side of the field now.
- He wears number 59 in honor of his mother, who was born in 1959. Cathryn Campbell has battled breast cancer and has had two heart attacks, including one in 2015 while she was on the way to see De’Vondre play. She and his dad Luther continue to be his staunchest supporters.
- He didn’t play organized football until his sophomore year of high school when a friend named Justin Major found him in the gym after a disappointing basketball practice and told him he’d make a better football player than basketball player anyway.
- He grew up with Jayron Kearse, who currently plays for the Dallas Cowboys. The two played together at Cypress Lake High school until Kearse transferred his senior year. They remain like brothers to each other.
- Only one school recruited De’Vondre out of high school (even though he had 13 sacks his senior year). So, he went to Hutchinson Community College (because his mom convinced him to go, according to this Naples Daily News article. “I told him, ‘You’ve got to start from somewhere,’ “ she said. “If it’s meant for you to get farther you will. So do what you gotta do. Somebody will discover you one day. “He said, ‘Mom, you think so?’ I said, ‘I know so.’ ” I mean, come on! That conversation is reason enough to root for ole number 59!
- He signed a one-year contract with the Packers worth $2 million (including a $1 million signing bonus and $500,000 in contract incentives), which is a pretty good deal for Green Bay.
- He doesn’t take a series off. For the past three games, he has played 100% of defensive downs. He has 40 combine tackles through four games, 26 solo. So far, we Packer owners are getting our money’s worth.
- He’s a newlywed! De’Vondre married Nicole, his longtime girlfriend and the mother of their three kids, on May 22, 2021.
- He graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in business and marketing.
- He’s played in a Super Bowl, but he hasn’t won one. Yet.