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Kason Campbell electrifying in kickoff return role for Montclair State

Montclair State junior wide receiver/kickoff returner Kason Campbell definitely enjoyed his time playing football at Elizabeth High School. During his junior year, the team advanced to a championship game but lost. Despite the heartbreak, Campbell came back his senior year and helped Elizabeth go undefeated and captured a championship.

However, all those good vibes would evaporate as family issues forced Campbell to take a three-year hiatus from football.

“I was dedicated to the football and didn’t want to give it up,” Campbell told Double G Sports. “Something I really loved to do and I wanted to show my Mom all the ability and athleticism I could bring to the table. I had a talk with her, didn’t want to give up on myself and quit. To show her not matter what it takes I’m going to play football and make her happy.”

In 2017, Campbell’s first season in a Red Hawks uniform, he caught 10 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown. Campbell also had four kick returns for 169 yards including one for 91 and averaged 42.25.

“Last year I did not have a lot of playing time but always wanted to show coaches I’m a good returner and prove I can open a lot of eyes,” Campbell said.

Campbell did not waste any time, not only opening up the coaches eyes, but his teammates as well as all around the NJAC (New Jersey Athletic Conference) in the 2018 season opener against Salve Regina on September 8. After the Seahawks trimmed Montclair State’s lead to 14-7 in the second quarter, it only took 13 seconds for Campbell to change the numbers on the scoreboard as he took the ensuing kickoff return 92 yards to the house.

Following up the impressive season opener, Campbell gave his a team a huge shot of momentum versus Southern Virginia University on September 15. Entering the second half up 10-3, only 15 seconds had eclipsed by as Campbell sprinted 91 yards to pay dirt, earning himself back-to-back NJAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Meanwhile, Campbell has already matched his receptions total from last year with 10 for 238 yards and one touchdown. He has seven kickoff returns for 274 yards, an average of 39.14.

“It means a lot to me, comes from practicing, working hard and preparing each week and getting better on what I do,” said Campbell. “Special teams is a really big part of the unit, it could blink in the eye of a second and getting that momentum back. I appreciate all the guys that block for me.”

Off to a 4-0 start (3-0 in NJAC) and fresh off a dominating 27-0 victory over Kean last Saturday, the Red Hawks return to Sprague Field for homecoming weekend where they will face off against TCNJ under the lights at 6:00 p.m.

Campbell has noticed the difference from last year’s team to this season, “Everybody is coming together as a family. Last year everyone had their own egos and worried about themselves. This year we pick each other up if something goes bad, last year we fought argued and fought. We hold everyone accountable, come to play and do our part. Putting on the Red Hawks uniform just doesn’t represent the football team but the school. Mauro (Altamura) and Jake Weber are very good leaders and motivate me. It takes a process to catch on how people act and they are perfect examples.”

Campbell also gives a ton of credit to Rich Giancola who is in his 36th season as head coach at Montclair State. “I love playing for Coach G, first time he is 4-0 since 2011, a hard-working man especially with the practice schedule.”

Describing the feeling on campus and upcoming game vs. TCNJ on Saturday night, “Everyone is so excited for us and waiting to watch us play under the lights. It’s homecoming weekend and we’re undefeated, we have to make a statement and show everybody we are back and put this team back on the map.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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