On eve of playoffs, Ferris State QB Jayru Campbell (Cass Tech) to have surgery; college career is over

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The highly decorated yet drama-filled college football career of Jayru Campbell is over.

Campbell, a senior quarterback at Ferris State, will have right ankle surgery Wednesday and is done for the season, which continues for the Bulldogs in the Division II playoffs Saturday at home against Central Missouri.

Jayru Campbell

Campbell is expected to recover in time to work out for NFL scouts ahead of the April draft. He is considered a dark horse candidate to be selected.

Ferris State coach Tony Annese confirmed the surgery.

"Jayru has been an extraordinarily positive force in the success of our team the last couple seasons," Annese told The News. "His drive and passion to be great made everyone around him better.

"He has had some tough luck this season with injuries, but our team is determined to move forward and represent him in a positive way in the playoffs."

Annese on Tuesday also anointed Grand Rapids senior Travis Russell as the starting quarterback moving forward.

Russell has played significantly this season, as Campbell has dealt with the injury, particularly during the second half of the season.

Ferris State is 10-0 and ranked a No. 1 seed in its side of the bracket, as it attempts to win a national championship after finishing runner-up last season.

Campbell led the Bulldogs to a 15-1 season last year, earning the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II's Heisman), All-America honors and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year honors.

Last season, Campbell threw for 2,391 yards and 27 touchdowns (to just six interceptions), and ran for 1,460 yards and 21 touchdowns.

He then had left (non-throwing) shoulder surgery in the offfseason, putting him behind heading into camp this season.

This season, he played in just five games due to multiple injuries and issues, but still threw for 1,306 yards and 10 touchdowns (four interceptions). His ground game was limited, as he rushed for just 236 yards, but still six touchdowns.

Campbell arrived at Ferris State following a stint at Garden City Community College in Kansas, where he helped that team to the 2016 NJCAA national championship.

Campbell was set to be a headline recruit in Michigan State's 2015 class, but troubles at school cost him a scholarship. At Cass Tech, Campbell bodyslammed a school security guard and ended up in jail. He also was accused of assaulting a girlfriend.

Russell has played six games for Ferris State, throwing for 863 yards and five touchdowns (three interceptions), and running for two more scores.

Ferris State also has played quarterbacks Evan Cummins, a sophomore out of Livonia Churchill, and Jevon Shaw, a senior out of Farmington Hills Harrison.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984