Bengals, Campbell to star in HBO show

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By The Staff

New Mexico Highlands University football fans looking to follow the career of former Cowboy star and NFL hopeful Jordan Campbell are in luck.

The Cincinnati Bengals have been chosen as the subject for this year’s version of “Hard Knocks,” the HBO documentary that gives viewers an inside look at preseason training camp for a National Football League franchise.

The Bengals have appeared as the “Hard Knocks” team before, in 2009, and show producers reportedly shopped the idea around to a number of NFL teams. Those teams for one reason or another were lukewarm on the notion, and the Bengals said yes.

Cincinnati signed Campbell to a free agent deal shortly after April’s draft concluded, and he has been participating in rookie minicamps and full-squad organized team activities.

The Corona, Calif., native is looking to make a Bengals roster that already has a couple of marquee linebackers in Rey Maualuga and James Harrison, acquired from the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason.

Campbell, who was originally signed to play his college ball at Southern Cal — one of NCAA Division I football’s most prestigious programs — left USC  and after a detour to Louisville wound up playing his last two years at NMHU for head coach Eric Young.

He shined as a Cowboy, becoming one of Division II’s premier defensive players. This past fall, he paced NMHU with 104 tackles, including 24 for loss and 10 sacks. He also logged three forced fumbles and one recovery.

After the season, he and fellow All-American NMHU teammate Abdul Kanneh played in the NFPLA Collegiate Bowl showcase. While neither was invited to the NFL Combine, both have earned free-agent deals, Kanneh as result of a tryout with Cleveland.

“Hard Knocks” will air beginning Tuesday, Aug. 6, on HBO. It will run through Sept. 2.