ALLEN PARK -- If football doesn't work out, Lions' seventh-round draft pick Caleb Campbell has a fallback career waiting for him in the Army.
Campbell, a linebacker/safety the Lions took with the 218th pick, is the first Army player to take advantage of a new exception to the academy's commitment to active service upon graduation. Campbell will be on active duty when he graduates May 31st, but his job will be to play football for the Lions and he'll work in his spare time as an Army recruiter.
If his playing career ends after two years, Campbell said he'll have fi ve years of reserve duty remaining. If it ends before two years, he'll branch into air-defense artillery.
"They think the marketing and the PR
that I'm going to give the Army is going to be very benefi cial," Campbell said. "I'll still be active duty but I'll just work as a recruiter as opposed to my classmates, they'll be given some unit, they might be deployed. My obligation is to play football."
Campbell is the first Army player drafted since quarterback Ronnie McAda was Mr. Irrelevant in 1997.
With the Lions, he joins a team rich in military background. Lions coach Rod Marinelli served a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam, and president Matt Millen's son, Marcus, played football at West Point with Campbell. Marcus Millen will graduate May 31 and branch into infantry.
Matt Millen said the Lions' military connections had nothing to do with Campbell's selection Sunday.
"That just happens to be that it happens to be," he said. "If you took West Point off his chest and put another school on he'd still get drafted.
"You draft him for the right reasons and the reasons are first and foremost he's a good football player, second of all he's what you're looking for in terms of football character."
I think this is the biggest pile of crap I have ever heard.
I am all for serving our country as I did. But to have gone through West Point only to be given up by the Army to play pro football. The Army claims it is for PR
Ok the Army spends more money on PR
then any other Branch.
They have 2 NHRA dragsters one top fuel one funny car, they also have one drag bike in the NHRA, along with one Nascar team. Now we are flipping the bill for a pro foot ball player.
They say in his off time he will be recruiting. Ok so what happens if he gets injured and is unable to for fill his contract with the lions or the Army. Then we will be flippin his disability bill for the rest of his life.
What a great way to spend my tax dollars.