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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It was just a matter of time for Jayru Campbell

Many of you have probably already read reports of Detroit Cass Tech junior quarterback Jayru Campbell being arrested for slamming a security guard in the school's halls yesterday. The story has taken on a life of its own. That's going to happen when it centers around a top-notch commit to a top-five university such as Michigan State.
Call this piling on if you want. But for the record, we here at MIPrepZone chose not to report anything after Campbell imploded during and after his team's 28-0 loss to Detroit Catholic Central in a Division 1 state semifinal back in November.
We all saw the meltdown that day at Troy Athens High School. I was standing 20 yards away while Campbell and the Shamrocks' Jack Van Acker got into a wrestling match on the field following Van Acker's sack and strip of the ball on Campbell. The two wrestled (not sure if any punches were thrown) until teammates and officials broke it up. Moments later, an angry Campbell walked off the field, reluctantly. He was obviously angry. He glanced over at me. I was videotaping the entire incident (as seen here). He told me to "Get that camera out my face."
I obliged - despite the fact that he was outside of the area designated for the football players. He came at me, in an area where photographers and videographers are supposed to be. After I turned the camera off, he still came at me, shouting out two more times to "Get that #%$*$#* camera out my face."
His frustration was evident throughout the afternoon, as Catholic Central gave him nothing. It was his first big loss in three years. After the game, he allegedly made contact with Van Acker in the handshake line (some reports say he punched Van Acker). What happened after that was caught on tape (as seen here). Our very own Scott Burnstein wrote something about the incident in a notebook for us, as well as in a story for State Champs.
After the game, as I was recording Catholic Central's victory "speech" by their coaches, a Cass Tech coach came over to apologize for Campbell's actions after the game. I still say it was a very classy gesture in regards to some nasty behavior.
Wednesday's incident came as no real surprise to myself. I saw that anger and frustration in Campbell back on that day in November. It's been building since then. It's obvious Michigan State will pull their scholarship offer. They reached out to Burnstein following his meltdown back in November, gathering information on the situation. I'm sure they've been monitoring his behavior. This will do nothing to help his chances of remaining a Spartan.
Hopefully he'll learn from this. But I can honestly say, I'm not betting on it.

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