Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 108: Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern SS
No. 108: Ibraheim Campbell, #24, SS, Northwestern
2011 Stats: 100 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions
There aren't many safeties capable of leading their teams in tackles as redshirt freshmen, but Ibraheim Campbell is that dude. He registered 100 stops on the season and solidified himself as one of the better strong safeties in the Big Ten. He's got the right sense of aggression to play the position, and his athleticism puts him in the upper echelon of Big Ten defenders.
Defense is an 11-man game, so it's a little unfair to hold an entire unit's shortcomings against its best players (please see Brandon Graham, Michigan, 2009). That said, Northwestern really struggled to keep itself in the game on defense last season, and Campbell had his share of blown assignments and botched plays. He was also a freshman so there's lots of room and time for improvement there, of course.
If Campbell gets 100 tackles again, it means Northwestern's front seven is way worse than we had feared and the Wildcats will be giving up 30-p;us points a game on a regular basis. That's not ideal.
But Campbell's enough of a playmaker that he'll come close to leading the team in tackles, and if he cuts down on the over-aggressive mistakes, he'll make some real noise in All-Big Ten voting by season's end.
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