Senior Spotlight: Quiet Campopiano led by example

Senior Spotlight: Quiet Campopiano led by example

Football players are not normally known for being shy and quiet but Matt Campopiano is precisely that type of person. The co-captain linebacker led by example in his four years playing for the Huskies.

“He is known for his hard work on the field and in the weight room,” said senior back-up quarterback Neil Johnson. “He doesn’t talk very often but he led through his work ethic. When he does talk you know he is saying something worth listening to.”

He quietly totaled 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks in the 2006 season after an eventful offseason. The left end started the preseason workout with a surprising announcement from head coach Rocky Hager. Campopiano was being moved to the linebacker position to help Hager fill the team’s holes. After working hard to make the switch, Campopiano learned Hager would again need him to make a position change. After a few weeks of practice the team needed the senior back at left end, and he started the season exactly where he had ended 2005.

“As an older guy, you don’t expect to have to be moving around,” said sophomore quarterback Anthony Orio. “You think you have played somewhere for three seasons and you’re going to stay there, but he just worked hard until coach gave him a new assignment and then he worked hard there. He knew what he had to do when he got on the field.”

His leadership helped the Huskies to a 5-6 (4-4 Atlantic-10) record despite opening the season with five consecutive road games including the season opener at Division IA Virginia Tech.

“I thought he did a great job of helping to keep us focused,” Orio said. “He didn’t let the schedule keep him from playing his best and showing us how to play our best. I am not a very vocal guy either so it helped me a lot to have him to look up to this season.”

After the season he was named to the All-New England team by the New England Football Writers Association and was a third team All-Atlantic-10 selection. The management major finished his career tied for fifth all-time in NU history with 17 sacks.

After his freshman season, when he appeared in nine games, he started in all 33 games from 2004-06. He did this while the team was going through the transition of former head coach Don Brown leaving for UMass-Amherst and Hager taking over the role in 2004.

“We came in together and things were very different from then to now,” Johnson said. “It was nice to have a guy go through all five years, especially with the team going through all of its own problems. We did that together and he is a great guy to go through that with.”

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