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Tennessee OL has to turn phone off due to devastating block that went viral

Offensive linemen are far too often only singled out when they make a mistake. Tennessee offensive tackle John Campbell Jr., is out to change that.

The transfer from Miami became a social media phenomenon when he blocked a Virginia player completely off the field and into two cameramen as the Vols trounced the Cavs 49-13.

When asked about the block, Campbell said, “My phone was going crazy. And it’s still blowing up now. I had to turn notifications off because it’s still going viral.”

The toss sweep to running back Dylan Sampson resulted in a touchdown and was complimented by former Auburn offensive lineman Cole Cubelic, who is now an analyst with the SEC Network.

“It was a big play that we were working on all week, and actually, it was a look that we never had before, so the coaches were really surprised with that,” Campbell said. “I was just trying to make a play, the same way the defender is trying to make it to the league. I am just trying to go out there and give my all for the team. I just make plays like I said I was going to do, so I am just going to keep making plays for the team.” 

Campbell was a huge pickup for the Vols since they were down one really good offensive tackle: Darnell Wright, who was selected with the first pick in the NFL Draft. Since transferring from Miami, Campbell has been a fixture at left tackle. Why did he leave South Florida?

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“It is just a bigger stage,” Campbell said during Tennessee’s press conference on Tuesday. “Even in here, all these cameras and the interviews, the production and all of that, it is just a bigger stage. All the fans and people who are die-hard for this. There are really die-hard fans here everywhere I walk around, people are saying ‘We love Tennessee.’ (If) you have a Tennessee shirt on, somebody is going to come up to you and try to talk to you and try to love on you because you are wearing that orange. I just want to ride for that orange.”

Campbell’s viral block wasn’t the only time Tennessee’s offensive line helped the Vols make a play on the ground. Tennessee ran for 287 yards against the Cavs.


“That was crazy,” Campbell said of the success on the ground. “Just making a block, opening up, and you just see a running back right on your hip pocket at the right time. Just seeing that was crazy.”

So was his block that caused him to adjust his phone settings. 

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