James Franklin didn’t confirm last week’s reports that cornerback John Reid will miss “significant time” in 2017 due to a knee injury — but the Penn State coach did hint at another player stepping up.
Christian Campbell, a senior cornerback, figures to start in Reid’s place alongside fellow veteran Grant Haley, and Franklin said Wednesday night he feels comfortable with Campbell.
“Obviously he’s going to have a little more significant of a role this year,” Franklin added. “He’s going to get a few more reps.”
Campbell, who has appeared in 31 games and started four times since arriving in Happy Valley, has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He missed the final five games of his sophomore campaign and didn’t play against Maryland last season.
However, Franklin said the Alabama native has avoided the injury bug this spring with “the best offseason he’s ever had.”
“We were joking around with him, saying this is a contract year for him,” Franklin said. “It’s his last year, and he knows he has to capitalize on it. ...We’re expecting big things from him.”
Haley agreed with his coach.
“He’s playing unbelievably confident right now,” Haley said, referring to Campbell. “He’s feeling more comfortable in the defensive system and more confident in himself.”