As part of a series, Bourbon Meyer will get to know a few of the writers and bloggers who cover Gator athletics. Today, Dan Thompson sat down with Amy Campbell, reporter for Fox Sports and Scout.com to discuss Amy’s crazy fifteen month rise, her thoughts on recruiting and predictions for the upcoming Gators football season.
DT: You have recently accepted a job with Fox Sports to cover recruiting for the state of Florida, so congratulations! Tell me a bit how you got to where you are today in the recruiting world?
AC: Thanks you! I’m quite excited for the opportunity. I really had no interest in recruiting nor did I know anything about it until around February of last year. I took an internship with Gator Country and had seen the opportunity to make a name for myself in recruiting. I’d seen the success Laura McKeeman had through it and decided I should try to learn it. Derek Tyson (now at ESPN) was at Gator Country then and I basically followed him everywhere and asked a thousand questions. He taught me a lot of what I know, as did Laura McKeeman who I work with now at Fox. Around October I was approached by Fox to do an internship at the UF site. I immediately took the position and went into it with the mentality that I wanted to be hired there, so I needed to work so hard that they would want to keep me. I graduated in December from Florida with my degree in Telecommunications – News and was offered a full-time position with Fox Sports at the end of April.
DT: Obviously being as experienced as you are, I am sure you have a quite a few stories that you will share with your grandkids one day. Tell me about a few of your most favorite experiences during your time covering the Gators and covering recruiting.
AC: Well I have a feeling the most interesting stories are ahead of me since I really only have one Signing Day under my belt and I really didn’t get going in recruiting early enough last year to really grasp a lot of what went on behind the scenes.
One of the more hectic interviews I did this year was with Montravius Adams (2013 DT of Vienna, GA). He visited Florida and had planned to call me before he left so we could meet up. I was working at a baseball game waiting for his call. When he called, he and his coach were already on their way out of town, so they met me in the Checkers parking lot. Checkers is in the back of the video interview. Then I went back to the baseball game.
On the day Tre Bell committed to Florida I met him at the sub place across from campus, where he was eating with his family, to do an interview after he committed.
I think the story I enjoyed the most was the video workout piece I did with Adam Lane. We worked out together, I collapsed on the floor, it was funny, and he was great to work with because he showed me everything and explained everything for the camera…and my goodness can he lift a lot of weight.
Overall, being a recruiting reporter basically turns a person into a glorified stalker. The things we do to get interviews and track people down are always interesting. I always say I could work for the FBI.
When I get to cover a kid who makes his dreams come true because of hard work, that is when I love my job. I truly am honored to share a piece of that journey.
DT: Florida obviously signed a great class in 2012, but missed on a few at the end. Who do you think the Gators will miss most out of the ones they missed (Tracy Howard, Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor, Avery Young, Leonard Williams, Josh Harvey Clemmons)?
AC: That is tough to say…I’m going to say Tracy Howard. I think the obvious answer would be one of the wide receivers since the need for that electric, play-making, go-to receiver is obvious for Florida, but Latroy Pittman could be a huge contributor as a freshman. I was very impressed with him during the week of Under Armour practice and the game in January, and we’ve all been hearing he looked great this spring.
DT: Obviously we saw Latroy Pittman blow up onto the scene during spring practice, who do you think will be that player that really steps up and surprises during the summer and fall that may not be a household name like Pittman?
AC: Going with Brian Poole on this one…again super impressed with him during the week of Under Armour practice and the game. Poole broke an Under Armour record when he intercepted a pass and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown.
DT: The Gators signed 23 players in the class last year. Who do you
think are the top three players from that group?
AC: D.J. Humphries, Jon Bullard, Brian Poole
DT: Which of the 23 players that was signed are you the most surprised entered the class in 2012?
AC: Raph Andrades, simply because he kind of came out of nowhere on Signing Day.
DT: Switching gears, what are your predictions for the Gator football team this upcoming season?
AC: I predict them to go 8-4, better than last season. I think next season they will be very good.
DT: If we could play a quick game, who would you choose from these position battles:
DT: Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel?
DT: Chaz Green or Matt Patchan?
DT: Jabari Gorman or Pop Saunders?
DT: Purifoy or Watkins?
DT: Amy, thank you for joining me. I really enjoyed talking with you.— Daniel Thompson is a graduate of the University of Florida, with degrees in Political Science and Economics. During his time as an Undergraduate, Thompson worked at the University of Florida Football Recruiting Office for three years. He can be found on Twitter @DK_Thompson and @SND_Gators and manages TheGatorsDaily.com.