February 24, 2023

Jack Of All Trades

If you’ve been searching for a football player that can fit into any role on the offensive line, has experience on the defensive line and can catch a touchdown pass, you need look no further.

Recently added offensive tackle Jamal Campbell can do it all.

The six-year CFL veteran has suited up at the guard, tackle and centre positions, as well as beginning his collegiate career at defensive end with the York University Lions. And, on Aug. 1, 2019, he caught a touchdown pass from Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

The Toronto native was drafted by his hometown team in the third round of the 2016 draft. He suited up in Double Blue for five seasons and won a Grey Cup with the club in 2017, before venturing west to play in the prairies with the Saskatchewan Roughriders last year.

The Red and White signed the six-year league veteran to the roster on Feb. 23.

“Something about me is,” began Campbell, “I’m always going to work hard and help the team in whatever capacity that is, whatever that role is. It comes down to helping the team and doing whatever it takes to win.”

With the departure of offensive lineman Julian Good-Jones, who was released on Jan. 9 to pursue opportunities with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Campbell could possibly fill the void at the right tackle position. It will certainly be a spot that fans have circled on their depth charts when training camp opens in May.

“Jamal is an experienced and versatile player whose presence will create training camp competition at every position on the offensive line,” said GM and head coach Dave Dickenson.

The addition of Campbell not only gives Dickenson flexibility on the o-line, but the entire offensive depth chart.

With a Canadian o-lineman potentially replacing the spot that belonged to an American last year, perhaps we could see the three-headed powerhouse of Ka’Deem Carey, Dedrick Mills and Peyton Logan dressing at the same time this season?

The rest of offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Pat DelMonaco’s group consists of Zack Williams, Bryce Bell, Joshua Coker, Keanu Ebanks, Hugh Thornton, and 2022 CFL West Division all-stars Derek Dennis, Ryan Sceviour and Sean McEwen.

It’s a reunion for Campbell and McEwen, who played alongside each other for four seasons with the Boatmen.

“He’s a super smart guy, his leadership and leading by example, and making sure all the guys are on the same page and on point,” said Campbell. “I’m excited about that as always and it’s always good to see a familiar face.”

The familiar faces don’t end there.

The 29-year-old will hit the gridiron once again with receiver Colton Hunchak – the two crossed paths at York in 2015 when Campbell was entering his final year and Hunchak was beginning his first.

“Colton and I played together so it’s going to be amazing seeing him again,” he said.

“And all the York boys there, I also know (receiver) Luther (Hakunavanhu) and (defensive back) Daniel (Amoako) and every time you get to see guys that share the same alumni as you – it’s kind of surreal.

“We’re all coming from York University and getting to a point where we’re playing on the same team – you have that appreciation for those moments.”

The countdown is on until Campbell reunites with his fellow alums and we see where the six-foot-five, 295-lb. Swiss army knife fits into the offensive scheme.

No matter what that may look like, Campbell is eager to begin the next chapter of his CFL career in Cowtown.

“I think it’s the best opportunity for me and I’m excited about it,” he said. “It’s an introduction to most of the guys, I’m going to meet new faces there and I’m excited to just get in the room, learn the playbook and get started.”