Iowa star linebacker Jack Campbell received some terrible news after the final game of his college football career.
Unanimous All-American grandfather William Smith Jr. died late Friday night in a vehicle-to-pedestrian accident involving one vehicle. Iowa announced after Saturday’s winSmith was in Nashville to watch his grandchildren at the Music City Bowl.
According to the Hawkeyes, Campbell’s parents decided to wait until after the game to break the news to him so he could enjoy playing with his teammates “one last time.” After his senior season, he had one more year of qualification left.
Head coach Kirk Ferencz expressed his support for his players via Iowa’s statement:
“Our hearts are with Jack and his entire family as they mourn the tragic passing of their grandfather and father, William Smith Jr.,” said Iowa State Football head coach Kirk Ferencz. We know Mr. Smith was a strong influence on his grandson and a loyal supporter of Hawkeye football, and all of us, players, coaches and staff, will continue to support the Campbell family during this very difficult time. I will continue to think and pray about
Campbell helped lead a dominant effort by the Iowa defense, who held Kentucky to 185 total yards and 2.7 yards per play and scored two touchdowns in the 21–0 victory. Campbell posted a team-high total of 10 tackles, 2 tackles in the loss, and 1 sack.
Campbell won the Bacchus Trophy for the country’s top linebacker, the Big Ten’s Nagurski Woodson Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the William V. Campbell Trophy for his on-field and off-field performances.