Sam LaPorta loves 'backyard football' feeling of facing Jack Campbell during rookie minicamp
Sam LaPorta and Jack Campbell had a strong run as teammates during their time at Iowa. Now, the two are back together again with both players selected by the Detroit Lions in this year’s draft.
As for Campbell, he was one of Detroit’s two first-round picks this year and was selected at No. 18 overall. Meanwhile, LaPorta was the second tight end off the board — a surprise to many — with the Lions taking the Hawkeye at No. 34 overall in the second round.
The Iowa duo are both likely to see key roles early in their careers and both are taking part in rookie minicamp for the Lions. It provides a familiar feeling for LaPorta, and he’s thrilled to get another chance to go against Campbell to begin their NFL journey.
“So fun. I was roommates with Jack the last couple of years, we lived in a house with all of our buddies. It’s just like backyard football,” LaPorta said about facing his buddy per the Woodward Sports Network. “Not actually, but you’re just going against your buddy, you’re competing and that’s what we all love. We love football and it’s so fun to do it against Jack.”
Detroit #Lions rookie TE Sam Laporta on playing with his former Iowa Hawkeye teammate and roommate, Jack Campbell. 🔥 #OnePride
— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) May 13, 2023
2023 outlook for Sam LaPorta, Jack Campbell
When it comes to LaPorta, he has a chance to be an early go-to option for the Lions at the TE position. TJ Hockenson — a fellow Hawkeye — was the most productive player for Detroit at the position a year ago, and that’s taking into account the fact Hockenson was traded midseason.
Brock Wright did start 10 games for Detroit last season but had just 1 game with 4 or more catches. LaPorta is a complete TE with the ability to block for the run game or make plays in the passing attack.
As for Campbell, the defense for Detroit is truly a work in progress after giving up 25.1 points per game a season ago. Provided Campbell has a strong training camp and learns the system early, he should get plenty of opportunities to help the defense as a rookie.