Demetrius Campbell fully expected to be asked for clarification when he named his top three schools on Thursday afternoon. He knew exactly what the next question was well before it was posed. The East Los Angeles College defensive tackle has 15 scholarship offers, most from BCS-conference programs, so what he was about to say would require some explaining.
One of these things is not like the others. Campbell knows it. The three schools still involved in his recruitment have to know it, too. And anyone within an earshot of the junior college prospect when he rattles off his list is curious to know why he's given the Roadrunners, a program about to enter its first season of FBS play, a chance to swing with heavyweights in the recruiting ring.
Turns out, Campbell has his reasons.
"It's a brand new program and a chance to make history," he said. "It's a chance to be the first to do something. The head coach, Larry Coker, he has ties to the University of Miami, so he knows what it takes to be a champion. I've known him for five years. He's always tried to recruit me. Those ties make me interested in him. I love his coaching prestige."
Make no mistake, though, the Mountaineers are still the heavy favorite here. Campbell committed to West Virginia out of high school and seems close to making the gesture again. He'll take an official visit to Morgantown on Oct. 20, at which time his recruitment may meet its end.
"West Virginia is my dream school," the the 290-pound Campbell said. "That's a program I love."
He plans to tour the campus of UTSA on Nov. 24 and check out Nebraska at a yet-to-be-determined date.
"If I like West Virginia when I get there and I really fall love in love with the place, I'm going to commit," he said. "Same thing with Texas San-Antonio or Nebraska."