Q&A: Sitting down with Minnesota’s star linebacker

Matt Forman

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Minnesota senior middle linebacker Lee Campbell is coming off a seven-tackle performance against then-No. 8 California. For the season, the 6-foot-3, 246-pound linebacker has totaled 31 tackles, 3.5 for loss. The Naples, Fla., native played defensive end early in his career with the Golden Gophers, but since has started 26 games in the heart of coach Tim Brewster’s defense. The Daily’s Matt Forman sat down with Campbell at Big Ten Media Day in July.

Daily Sports: What’s your favorite movie and why?

Lee Campbell: That’s tough, man. I’ve got a lot of favorite movies. I’d say “The Prestige,” just because I like movies that surprise you at the end. That thing is awesome.

Daily Sports: Who’s your favorite artist?

Lee Campbell: I’d have to go with Brad Paisley. I like his stuff.

Daily Sports: Do you have a pre-game ritual or any superstitions?

Lee Campbell: I have a lucky pair of glasses that I wear. Before every game on the travel bus, I always wear my sunglasses. It started off as just a playful thing, but it worked. So now I have to wear them.

Daily Sports: Who’s the player in the Big Ten that you would like to sack or tackle for a loss?

Lee Campbell: I’m going to go with (Ohio State quarterback) Terrelle Pryor because there’s a lot of hype about him right now. He’s an extremely athletic, extremely talented guy, so to be able to tackle him and bring him down would feel pretty good.

Daily Sports: What gets you most excited about the new TCF Bank Stadium?

Lee Campbell: To have a place that’s ours and get back on campus, it’s just incredible. I hope it’s sold out on game day, we’re really going to embrace outdoor football, embrace the elements.

Daily Sports: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Northwestern football?

Lee Campbell: A bunch of hard-nosed guys who want to win. I think Pat Fitzgerald is great, I think he’s a winner himself. His passion and love for the game wears off on them.

Daily Sports: Tell me something about you that not many people know.

Lee Campbell: I can ride a unicycle. My mom taught me when I was seven years old. The guys on the team have seen it, they joke with me about it.

Daily Sports: What are you like off the gridiron?

Lee Campbell: Away from the field, I’m relaxed all the way. I’m relaxing in my free time.

Daily Sports: Who have been the most influential people in your life, in and away from the game?

Lee Campbell: My mom, by far. She’s been so supportive of me. In the game, there are so many guys that I try to look up to, every linebacker.

Daily Sports: Who’s the strongest guy on Minnesota’s football team?

Lee Campbell: Our defensive tackle Barrett Moen, he can clean 380 pounds without bending his knees. Strong guy. But overall strength, you wouldn’t believe some of the things Adam Weber can do, he’s the toughest guy on the team.

Daily Sports: What’s your favorite Tim Brewster moment?

Lee Campbell: After the Illinois game last year (a 27-20 win), to see how happy he was and excited he was after that.

Daily Sports: What’s the best part of playing Big Ten football?

Lee Campbell: There’s no feeling that can surpass being in a packed stadium with the fans cheering. When you make a big play, a big hit, nothing beats it. I love it.

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