Texas Football: DJ Campbell ‘hungry to prove’ he deserves to be a starter

DJ Campbell, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
DJ Campbell, Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas football has a lot of young depth and talent along the offensive line heading into the fall. Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood has done a nice job loading up on talent and depth in the trenches in the last couple of recruiting cycles.

This fall will be the time when Flood and the Longhorns need a lot of the talented players they brought in the last couple of cycles, especially from the loaded 2022 recruiting class, to start making an impact on the field.

A key underclassman among the offensive linemen heading into the fall that needs to prove himself in a big way is the former elite five-star recruit and redshirt freshman offensive guard DJ Campbell. Unfortunately, Campbell suffered a wrist injury near the end of spring ball that caused him to miss the Orange-White Game on April 15.

But it sounds like Campbell should make a full return for the Longhorns for summer workouts.

The 6-foot-3 and 320-pound interior offensive lineman Campbell will be looking to compete for starting reps at one of the guard spots in fall camp.

Texas football IOL DJ Campbell hungry to prove himself heading into summer

Before Campbell can prove himself in fall camp, though, he must make the right impression on the coaches during summer workouts. He’s got to continue to get in the best shape possible while making the right adjustments to his game by getting down to work in the film room this summer.

The good news is that it seems like Campbell is taking the right mindset to prove himself to the coaches and his teammates heading into the summer. A Horns247 report this week (paid content) mentioned that Campbell is “hungry to prove he’s worthy of being a starter at guard this season” as we head into summer workouts and then fall camp.

Flood and the Longhorns are going to continue to give Campbell a chance to prove he’s ready to not only take more first-team reps in practice heading into the fall but also push for a starting spot for Week 1 against Rice on Sep. 2.

Campbell has all the talent in the world along with the physical tools necessary to be one of the best offensive guards not just in the Big 12, but in the entire country. He just has to get his body and mind to the right place to ensure he can hold his own on a consistent basis along the interior offensive line.

There were times last season when it looked like Campbell was a bit lost in terms of where he was supposed to be in pass pro and as a run blocker. And it sounds like he still wasn’t making all the necessary strides to show he’s ready to assume a starting role at guard prior to the wrist injury he suffered this spring that knocked him out of the rest of camp.

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If Campbell is to make the push for more starting reps this fall, he will have to prove that he’s ahead of both junior Hayden Conner and sophomore Cole Hutson along the interior offensive line. Conner was the starter at left guard last season. And Hutson was the starter at right guard for most of the 2023 season, outside of some injury issues that kept him out of live-game action down the stretch.