Campbell helping Isabella fans forget departed quarterback

Published 4:21 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In an offense that relies so heavily on the quarterback making plays, there must have been some concern among Isabella coaches coming into this season about who would replace departed Austin Haigler.

Haigler led last year’s team—and was near the top among all local players—in rushing and passing. Isabella has replaced Haigler’s production enough to be 2-1 so far and on track for a playoff berth.

A significant part of the offense has been sophomore transfer DeRodgus Campbell.

Campbell, a wing back, is second on the team with 272 rushing yards and four touchdowns through three games with an average of about 13 yards per carry.

In a 35-0 win over Thorsby last week, Campbell rushed for 117 yards and a score on only seven carries—and added an interception on defense.

“He’s a good athlete, and he’s got some size,” IHS coach Scott Booth said.

Campbell’s brother, Deonte, also figured to be a crucial part of the Isabella offense until he was slowed by an injury.

The brothers transferred from Calera, though they had gone to Isabella earlier in their careers.

Also helping carry the load has been quarterback Tyler Smith, who leads the team in passing and rushing, combining for an average of more than 100 yards per game.

But DeRodgus Campbell has been Isabella’s most explosive player.

“He’s been a good addition for us,” Booth said.

Honorable mention

•Jacob Hatch, Jemison

•Chris Lassinger, Chilton Christian

•Vadall Morrow, Chilton Co.

•Jonathon Spivey, Thorsby

•Dustin Stephens, Maplesville

•Duante Talley, Verbena

•Preston Wallace, Billingsley

Previous winners

•Week 1: Javae Swindle, Jemison

•Week 2: Damian Mitchell, Maplesville