Don’t forget Parris: Ohio State WR flashes speed at NFL Combine

Parris Campbell runs faster than Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown

Daryl Ruiter
March 02, 2019 - 1:33 pm

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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Indianapolis, IN (92.3 The Fan) – Parris Campbell left a vapor trail on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday afternoon at the NFL Combine.

The Akron St. Vincent St. Mary product and Ohio State Buckeye receiver understood how important this week was for him, but he felt Saturday’s workout was the ultimate test he needed to ace.

“It's the grand finale,” Campbell said on Friday.

It was grand indeed.

Campbell clocked unofficially at 4.32 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest time at this year’s combine to date.

“I'm just looking to improve my draft stock, run fast,” Campbell said. “I can guarantee a fast time for myself.”

Campbell ran faster than Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown did, which NFL Network highlighted with their simulcam in which they overlapped video of the four running the 40. Campbell beat Jones, who was timed at 4.42 by a body length and Brown by two yards.

Campbell is among three Buckeye receivers looking to prove themselves worthy of coming off the board in April – Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin are the other two.

Dixon is Campbell’s best friend.

The two bonded as freshman and grew even closer when Campbell helped convince Dixon, who dealt with chronic knee tendinitis, through his darkest days when he contemplated quitting football to stick with it following a loss to Clemson in a 2016 semifinal playoff game at the Fiesta Bowl.

“We fought through a lot of things together and when I was at my lowest point he was the guy that was there for me every day,” Dixon said. “[He> helped pull me through the dark time and sometimes I don’t know if I would have came back if it wasn’t for him.”

Campbell, who measured in at 5-11 and 7/8 and 205 pounds, had his own adversity to overcome at Ohio State that Dixon supported him through.

Following two difficult seasons with the Buckeyes in which he struggled with routes and catching the football, he honed his craft and became a two-time team captain and was named to the first-team all-Big Ten team as a senior.

He credits Dixon with inspiring and being there for him just as much, if not more, than he was for Dixon.

“Johnnie was always there for me and not necessarily just related to football,” Campbell said. “I always have a child, a 9-month son, and Johnnie was there for me whenever I needed him 'cause that's a big task, being a 21-year-old man in college. It's not the ideal situation, so just talking to Johnnie. Johnnie was always there for me. Johnnie is one of my closest friends, probably my best friend.”

The Browns could use help at receiver, and it is expected they’ll target one in the draft.

Could it be Campbell?

He wouldn’t mind.

“It definitely would be cool to stay in Ohio,” Campbell said. “I'd be an hour up the road. So it would definitely be cool, but any team that takes a chance on me, I'd be honored to go for sure.”

The real reason that Campbell would appreciate a selection by the Browns – his mother.

“I think my mom would love it for sure. I'd be right up the road,” Campbell said. “She loves it, seeing all my games. But it would be nice, honestly. My family just throughout my entire career has been right by my side, never once failed, never once missed a game, never missed anything. They were just always there for me an they're the reason I'm the man I am today, the reason I am the player I am today. So it would be huge.”