Somewhere, Pep Hamilton is dancing in the streets.
The Indianapolis Colts yesterday signed two free agent fullbacks: Stephen Campbell and Cameron White. Both were products of recent regional combines. This from the Colts press release on the signing:
Campbell, 6-1, 245 pounds, attended the 2014 New York/New Jersey NFL Regional Combine as well as the Super Regional Combine at Ford Field in Detroit. In 32 career games for the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats (2009-2012), he totaled 65 receptions for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. As a junior in 2011, Campbell earned honorable mention West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) accolades after starting all 11 games and catching 38 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns. In 2010, he appeared in all 11 games and recorded 14 receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
White, 6-2, 251 pounds, attended the 2014 Chicago NFL Regional Combine in addition to the Super Regional Combine in Detroit. In four seasons (2009-2012) with the Hillsdale College (Mich.) Chargers, he registered 94 receptions for 1,145 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also scored one rushing touchdown and contributed with 17 tackles on special teams. As a senior in 2012, White started eight games and caught 38 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns. He earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) first-team honors as a junior after posting 32 receptions for 372 yards, four touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
Indianapolis recently hosted a regional combine, and they are held throughout the country. Obviously, as mentioned, Stephen Campbell attended the New York/New Jersey regional combine and Cameron White the Chicago regional combine. The regional combines are places where NFL hopefuls get one last shot to impress teams. Colts long snapper Matt Overton was the product of a regional combine a few years ago and last season made the Pro Bowl. As the MMQB's Andrew Lawrence wrote last week in an article about regional combines,
"The regional combines offer a chance to keep chasing the dream, or if strivers don't measure up, the push to get on with their lives. It's closure, but with dignity."
As for how these moves will affect the Colts, it still remains to be seen. Clearly, the Colts value fullbacks in Pep Hamilton's offense and it makes complete sense that they added two more. Last season, Stanley Havili was the team's only fullback, though occasionally a tight end would play there. This year, with Dwayne Allen returning from injury, he will likely fill some of that role at times as well. Havili was a solid player for the Colts last year, but he was more of a receiving fullback - which is what the Colts wanted. As a blocker, he was alright.
Of course, myself (and many others) don't see the need for as many fullbacks because we see that the Colts are more talented and better suited for a passing offense than a power run offense. The Colts have plenty of offensive weapons and will need to make sure they can get all of their receiving threats on the field. But, of course, Pep Hamilton loves using the fullbacks, and now the Colts have three of them. The Colts definitely won't keep three fullbacks on the active roster next season and two might even be unlikely, but if the Colts are serious about using fullbacks, then it's smart to look at other options. And also, they're giving NFL hopefuls a chance.