Campbell taking advantage of opportunities at Northwestern

Chestnut Hill Academy's Ibraheim Campbell has orally committed to Northwestern University. (Lawrence Kesterson / Staff Photographer)
Chestnut Hill Academy's Ibraheim Campbell has orally committed to Northwestern University. (Lawrence Kesterson / Staff Photographer)
Posted: July 31, 2014

CHICAGO - Before he graduated in 2010 from Chestnut Hill Academy, Ibraheim Campbell learned to take advantage of every opportunity given to him.

Campbell followed that creed daily, and it helped him earn a football scholarship at Northwestern.

He hasn't looked back since. Campbell, one of Northwestern's key returning players, was chosen as one of the team's player representatives this week for Big Ten Football Media Days. The fifth-year senior safety is focused on getting Northwestern football back on track.

"Being able to utilize everything around you, and make the most of every opportunity that you have and never kind of be complacent, that's something I tried to carry over to college and, really, into life," Campbell said Tuesday.

The Wildcats went 5-7 last season, losing four games by fewer than eight points. The season was frustrating for Campbell because it came a year after the highlight of his career, when Northwestern won its first bowl game since 1949 by defeating Mississippi State, 34-20, in the Gator Bowl.

Campbell had an interception in the game, one of eight in his career. Entering his final season, he is tied for ninth all-time at Northwestern in that category and is just three away from moving into a tie for third place all-time.

He started all 12 of Northwestern's games at strong safety, and his four interceptions helped him earn honorable mention all-Big Ten from the conference's coaches and media.

Off the field, Campbell has worked just as hard to take advantage of opportunities. The defensive back from Philadelphia is a three-time all-academic Big Ten player majoring in economics, and when he isn't playing football, he is learning how to apply his studies to the outside world.

Campbell has had three internships in the business world, most recently working for the Gelber Group, a trading firm, in the spring. For now, his goal is to make the NFL, but he can foresee a career in trading afterward.

Before his final season begins, Campbell is focused on making sure his secondary is ready to operate. Others in the program have taken note of his leadership.

"He's taken all the young guys under his wing and really shown them how to study tape, how to work out, how to think and operate and tick like a Big Ten defensive back, and just show them all the ropes," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

Campbell is able to get back to the Philadelphia area to see his family just a few times a year, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He is spending his time trying to take advantage of every opportunity Northwestern gives him.

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