For the longest time, Campbell Klein thought his football days would be over once he graduated from Sacred Heart. Then, Ole Miss coaches called Klein’s father, Tracy, and offered his son a chance to keep playing.
“It’s some NCAA violation, I think, for a coach to call players right now,” Campbell Klein explained. “So they called my dad actually and told him they were going to give me a preferred walk-on spot. They gave me a couple of dates where I could come up and visit. So I went last weekend for the spring game, and that was it.
“It’s always been my dream to go to Ole Miss, and I never thought I was going to play college football after high school. I thought I was just going to hang up the cleats and be done with it. But then they [Ole Miss] called, and I just couldn’t turn it down.”
Klein will be just the second football player (Tyler Flathau-Southern Miss) that Sacred Heart has sent to the Division I level. So it’s a pretty significant step for the Crusader program, said head coach Lonny Schraeder.
“It’s great for the program. People see that this kid is from little ole Sacred Heart, and that’s a good deal.
“First of all, I’m so happy for Campbell, because he works hard. For someone to break his collarbone and just have the guts to come back and do what he did, he deserves a shot. He’s gotta go up there and prove himself, but I think he’s capable of doing it.”
Klein suffered the aforementioned injury near the middle of this past season and still rushed for a team-high 1183 yards and 14 touchdowns. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Klein made a name for himself at running back for the Crusaders, but says Ole Miss wants him as a safety.
Regardless of what position he plays, Klein says he has a lot to prove in Oxford and is ready for a new challenge in the Southeastern Conference.
“I’m coming up with a chip on my shoulder in a way. I’m just ready to prove something,” Klein said. “I’m ready to represent the ‘Burg. Hopefully in a positive way and get up there and show everybody something.”
“He’ll represent us well, regardless of what happens, because I know Campbell Klein enough and the kind of kid he is,” Schraeder added. “We’re pulling for him. I hope it all works out. Lord willing, he’ll be an Ole Miss Rebel.”