MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —
With everything going on in the sports world because of COVID-19, Shea Campbell decided to take a route not many even knew existed with his football career.
Campbell, a 2015 Morgantown High grad, just finished five seasons with the WVU football team. The former walk-on earned a scholarship and was a major contributor on defense and special teams the last two seasons, but Campbell thought the Mountaineers’ win at TCU on Nov. 29 was the last time he’d play college football.
However, since Campbell graduated in December, he was not enrolled in the spring semester, so he finished with nine semesters throughout his college career. At the Division I level, the rule with eligibility is based on years, so Campbell exhausted all five years — including his redshirt season in 2015 — at West Virginia.
However, at lower levels including Division II and Division III, the rule of eligibility is based off semesters, which is exhausted at 10. Since Campbell was not in school during the spring semester, he still has a semester left based on the NCAA eligibility requirements of Division II and III.
As a result, Campbell decide to enter the transfer portal and play one more season of college football.
“I was told I still have some eligibility on my time clock but only if I transferred down,” Campbell said. “I’m not leaving WVU for any reason other than I don’t have any more years to play. I love WVU and wish everyone the best of luck, but I can’t play there.”
Campbell was recruited by many Division II schools out of MHS, but wanted to prove he could play at the highest level and decided to walk on at WVU.
Campbell was a safety when he first arrived, but transformed into a linebacker as he gained weight, bulking up 50 pounds over the course of his career. He played in 21 career games, finishing with 70 tackles, 8 1/2 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception.
After his senior season, Campbell was gearing up for WVU’s pro day, but the coronavirus pandemic squashed most workouts leading into the NFL draft, and for someone like Campbell, showing off in front of scouts was critical for his chance at pro football.
With those wiped out, Campbell looked into other options and decided to play another season in college.
“The decision for me to play another year was a little difficult at first,” he said. “Knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to play Division I football was the hard part. I love football and being able to play another year is a blessing, and it also gives me another year to train after. If I had another year of Division I ball, I wouldn’t choose to leave WVU. It’ll forever be home to me.”