Service commitment sends Clarkson to Air Force

Senior Campbell Clarkson will be taking his talents to Air Force next season
Senior Campbell Clarkson will be taking his talents to Air Force next season

By Bryan Stieneker
Eagle Editorial Board

Yet another Eagle student-athlete has

committed to playing Division 1 NCAA sports.

Over the summer, senior Campbell Clarkson,

committed to playing football for the Air Force


Clarkson is one of multiple St. Thomas

student-athletes in the past few years who have

gone on to play college sports at the division 1 level, and athletic director Mike Netzel has been very

pleased with the results.

“It’s a great representation of where our athletic program is,” Netzel said. “To have somebody that

interested in a young man, particularly a place like Air Force Academy, is pretty tremendous.”

The interest Air Force has had in Clarkson certainly is not unrequited.

“I’ve always been big into military service,” Clarkson said. “Air Force has been one of my top choices

for college since middle school.”

Those who know Campbell well are not surprised that he ended up at a school as prestigious as the

Air Force Academy.

“He has really grown up in coaching offices,” Netzel said. “So he’s a lot more advanced in the way he

talks, he thinks, which probably makes him a great candidate for one of the service academies.”

Campbell considers Air Force the best place for him to succeed, not only as a football player, with an

offense predicated on quickness over size, but also as a student and a person.

“Because of their triple option offense, I, a 240-245 pound offensive lineman can still be successful in

a Division 1 program,” Clarkson said. “I can go anywhere on the offensive line and still be a

contributor because that offense allows me to do so.”

Not many are willing to endure the rigor of life and academics at a service academy, but Clarkson is

ready to embrace it.

“One of the things that attracts me is how regimented life is,” Clarkson said, “You have a schedule.

There’s no room to be lazy and miss a class, so it keeps you on track.”

The sense of fellowship and camaraderie at Air Force Academy, and all service academies for that

matter, is something Clarkson is familiar with from his St. Thomas days, and also something he looks

forward to experiencing more of in his college career.

“It’s all one brotherhood and sisterhood, ” Clarkson said. “You’re with your company and division for

your entire four years.”

Clarkson certainly has been a tremendous presence on campus, both in the classroom and on the

football field. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and has been involved in student

council and various clubs. Also, he has played on the offensive line for the varsity football team since

his sophomore year, in addition to being a varsity wrestler and a member of the track and field team.