As we look around, we can see the dog days of summer starting to dwindle down. School supplies now sit front and center at most retail stores. Families are cramming in those last minute vacations. The NFL preseason kicks off in just two short weeks. Before we know it, the days will be shorter and much cooler.
With the 2021 college football season quickly approaching, it’s time to take a look at who and what is to come for Liberty. Today begins our five week journey, previewing the twelve teams the Flames will face over the next four months.
Team: Campbell Fighting Camels
Conference: Big South (FCS)
Game Date: September 4 (Week 1)
Location: Williams Stadium – Lynchburg, Virginia
Game History: This is the first meeting between Liberty and Campbell.
Coach: Mike Minter – Minter enters his ninth season as head coach for Campbell. During that time, he has thoroughly improved the program seen most recently by three straight winning seasons (2017-2019) and a number of FCS Top 25 votes in 2019. Minter is also no stranger to Lynchburg. He served as the special teams coordinator and assistant defensive coach for the Flames in 2012 under the direction of then Head Coach Turner Gill.
2020 Record: 0-4
Last Season: In August of 2020, the Big South postponed all fall sports due to the ongoing pandemic, including football. Despite no in-conference play, Big South teams had permission to play four non-conference games, leading to an abbreviated season for Campbell. It was anything but a wasted season for the Fighting Camels as they took on four FBS teams: Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Wake Forest, and Georgia Southern (who they almost upset).
Offensive Player To Watch – Junior QB Hajj-Malik Williams
In just two years, one of which was abbreviated, Hajj-Malik has set records for the Camels. He was also named the 2019 Big South Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2020 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Williams could present similar problems to that of Liberty QB Malik Willis. Over the last two seasons, Williams has lead Campbell in both passing and rushing, making him a dangerous dual threat.
Defensive Player To Watch – Redshirt Junior LB Justice Galloway-Velazquez
Much like Williams, LB Justice Galloway-Velazquez has accomplished a number of accomplishments in two years with Campbell. He owns the record for most tackles in a season for the Fighting Camels and is a seasoned run-stopper. Velazquez earned preseason honors for the 2020 season, but was forced to sit out due to injury.