Skip to main content Skip to footer
'You can't give up when it gets too hard' - former Auburn QB Jason Campbell on faith, football
Former Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell acknowledges applause after speaking in Montgomery.
Aug. 3, 2016

By Jeff Shearer
AuburnTigers.com

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Growing up in a faith-filled home in Mississippi, Jason Campbell was the kid who was in church every time the doors were open.

“Am I ever going to get to go outside and play?” Campbell remembers thinking.

The former Auburn quarterback shares his story often, including last week at Auburn’s annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes dinner, and Monday in Montgomery at Landmark Church’s 11th annual Gridiron Kickoff event.

Visiting with fellow former Auburn quarterback Charlie Trotman, Campbell shared with the audience of several hundred the role faith has played in his life and football career.

<em> Former Auburn quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Charlie Trotman shared the stage.</em>
Former Auburn quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Charlie Trotman shared the stage.

Campbell said Auburn’s 2003 team, his junior year, was more talented than the 2004 team. But, he said, the unbeaten 2004 team, known in Auburn lore as the “Hard-Fighting Soldiers,” had better leadership.

The 2004 SEC Player of the Year attributed that team’s close bond to weekly Friday meetings before each game, where teammates would pray for each other.

“We were there to get an education and win games, but at the same time, we became brothers,” Campbell said.

<em> Jason Campbell quarterbacked Auburn to an unbeaten season in 2004, earning SEC Player of the Year honors.</em>
Jason Campbell quarterbacked Auburn to an unbeaten season in 2004, earning SEC Player of the Year honors.

In an interview before his time on stage, Campbell reflected on his journey.

“It took a lot of learning. A lot of looking back. You come out of high school, Parade All-American, you have to humble yourself,” he said “A lot of that has to do with having faith in God, and understanding that He didn’t bring me that far to leave me.

“And the same way in the pros. You get there, that’s a big responsibility. And sometimes guys can go astray because they make it to the big leagues, and they think, ‘Here I am,’ not understanding that this is your job, it’s your profession. Remember what got you here. Just lean on God. Lean on faith to help you through any scenario because you’re going to go through a lot when you’re at that level.”

Campbell said he wants his listeners, especially young people, to be able to relate to his story.

“They look at us, and think, ‘They played ball, and made it.’ But they don’t understand there were struggles and sacrifices along the way,” Campbell said. “It wasn’t just easy. You’ve got to get out and work. You can’t give up when it gets too hard. Because your opportunity is just on the other side.”

<em> Former teammates Jason Campbell and Ronnie Brown were part of Auburn's National Signing Day coverage.</em>
Former teammates Jason Campbell and Ronnie Brown were part of Auburn's National Signing Day coverage.

Campbell lives in Atlanta, where he serves as a high school volunteer quarterback coach. Former Auburn fullback Fred Beasley is the offensive coordinator, and Tiger great Willie Anderson works with offensive linemen.

“We’re always talking about the game, and talking about how it’s changed. The mindset of this generation has changed,” Campbell said. “It’s more of a generation now where kids feel entitled. Instead of to the point where you have to work for everything you wanted. We’re just trying to get the message back out to these kids, that if you really want something, you’ve got to work for it. No one is just going to walk up and just hand you something, and say, ‘Hey, here it is.’”

Campbell, who won, lost, then re-won Auburn’s quarterback job during his career, has advice for this season’s candidates.

“It’s a great opportunity. One thing they have to look forward to is not put any pressure on themselves, any added pressure,” he said.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

Buy Tickets

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE!

Aubtix.com is your home for buying tickets to Auburn athletic events.

Auburn Store

GET AUBURN GEAR NOW!

Shop for your favorite summer items at the Auburn Tigers Official Online Store.

Tigers Unlimited, Join Today! Click for more information