Detroit Lions

From The Army To The NFL: The Feel-Good Story That Is Caleb Campbell

ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 03:  Caleb Campbell #47 of the Detroit Lions does a drill during rookie training camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 3, 2008 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Matt WagnerCorrespondent IIMay 4, 2010

Caleb Campbell is turning out to be one of the greatest feel-good the NFL has seen in ages. Campbell was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

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Everything was coming into place for Caleb until the Department of Defense stepped in. The Department informed the Lions that the policy allowing graduates of all three military academies to be excused from active duty for two years was prohibited.

As a result of this situation, Campbell was not allowed to play football for the Detroit Lions for at least two years. 

But now Campbell is legally allowed to suit up for the Lions. He has signed a contract to play for Detroit as a result of a private workout that took place only a few weeks ago. But what makes this such a great story is not that he made it to the NFL but rather the almost insurmountable odds he had to overcome to make it in the first place.

Caleb had to not only become one of the 252 NFL players drafted each year, he also had to do it at Army which, as a result of its limited exposure, has only had a few players drafted since 1980 and Campbell became the first Army player drafted since 1997 while accomplishing his feat.

So we will see in the coming years if Campbell becomes an successful NFL player but he has already achieved the accomplishment of becoming an excellent feel-good story. 

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