Former Penn State Cornerback Christian Campbell Selected By Tampa Bay Bandits In USFL Draft

Although the NFL season just reached its conclusion, Penn State fans will no longer need to wait until September to see at least one Nittany Lion product take the gridiron.

Former Penn State cornerback Christian Campbell heard his name called Tuesday night as the first pick in the 10th round of the United States Football League Draft by the Tampa Bay Bandits. The Florida-based organization is one of eight franchises set to compete in the league’s first reboot attempt since its collapse in 1986.

Despite being selected in the 10th round, Campbell’s services still warranted a day one selection. Since all chosen players are new to their respective organizations, the draft order was arranged by position, with cornerbacks coming off the board in rounds eight through 10.

In Happy Valley, Campbell established himself as one of the most reliable cover corners in the Big Ten. As a senior in 2017, the rangy defensive back tallied a team-high 12 pass breakups, earning himself an All-Big Ten honorable selection nod.

Following a successful Penn State career highlighted by 16 starts on the outside, Campbell was drafted into the NFL as a sixth-round selection by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. However, his initial stint in the desert lasted a few short months. He was waived by the team in early September as a rookie.

Since signing a rookie deal with the Cardinals, Campbell also saw practice squad action with the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers in 2018 and 2019, but injuries held him back from cracking each team’s 53-man roster.

After failing to find a permanent home in the NFL, Campbell headed north to test the waters in the Canadian Football League. Eventually, the Alabama native signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in March 2020, but he elected to opt out of his initial season in Canada at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, Campbell rejoined the team in January 2021.

The USFL season will officially kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, with the new-look league’s inaugural game featuring the New Jersey Generals and the Birmingham Stallions. 

So far, the initial prime-time matchup is the only scheduled game released ahead of the USFL’s regular-season slate. All of the league’s games will be broadcasted on either FOX or NBC throughout the 10-game stretch. 

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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