Campbell ready to answer critics with play

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 1, 2003

BIRMINGHAM &045;&045; When doubters point to a question mark on Auburn’s football team this season, many of them point the finger squarely at junior quarterback Jason Campbell.

With Auburn’s loaded backfield and talented defense, they expect teams to try and force the Tigers to win through the air. Some question whether the young man who was benched for four games at the start of last year will be able to stand up under the pressure.

Campbell is ready to turn those questions marks into exclamation points.

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Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville said Campbell got his confidence back last season and he’s glad to go into the media days knowing who his starting quarterback is going to be.

Last season Campbell sat the first four games, watching and learning from the sidelines.

Finally against Florida, Tuberville called his number and the Taylorsville, Miss. native responded.

Campbell said that both learning on the field his freshman year and watching the first four games last year made him better.

Tuberville isn’t asking Campbell to carry the Tigers to an SEC or national title. But he said the quarterback will have to keep opposing defenses honest.

Senior linebacker Karlos Dansby said he expects Campbell and the Tigers offense to continue to improve.

Campbell can expect help from his young receiver corps as well.

Sophomores Ben Obamanu, from Selma, Devin Aromashodu and tight end Anthony Mix now have a year experience under their belts.

Those three, along with redshirt freshman Courtney Taylor and senior Jeris McIntyre, should give Campbell plenty of quality targets.

He is.

If any of the receivers hit some hard times, they can turn to Campbell for advice.

He’s been there, done that.

Now, he’s ready to show the SEC, the nation and his doubters what he’s learned.