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Specialists spice add to CFA list

Posted May 1, 2013

The Bengals added to their list of college free agents Wednesday morning when they added Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb, New Mexico Highlands linebacker Jordan Campbell, and Oklahoma State kicker Quinn Sharp.


Jordan Campbell

Updated: 11:15 a.m.

The Bengals added to their list of college free agents Wednesday morning when they added Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb, New Mexico Highlands linebacker Jordan Campbell, and Oklahoma State kicker Quinn Sharp.

The 5-10, 170-pound McCalebb, the fastest man at the NFL Scouting Combine with a sub 4-3-second 40-yard dash, is making the switch to cornerback for the May 10-12 rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium as the Bengals try to find a position for him while auditioning his return skills. Too slight to play NFL running back, McCalebb could also get a look at receiver.

Sharp, the first three-time All-American in Oklahoma State history, finished his career as the nation's leading active punter with a 45.9-yard average as well as one of the top kickers with an 84.7 field-goal percentage. After leading the country in touchbacks for four straight years, the Bengals have listed Sharp as a kicker but he figures to also get some chances to punt.

The 5-11, 240-pound Campbell is a high school rival of Bengals WILL backer Vontaze Burfict in Corona, Calif. After leaving USC following an off-field incident and never being able to play at Louisville because of glitches in his transfer, Campbell surfaced at Highlands last season and racked up 10 sacks, 24 tackles for loss, and 104 tackles in 11 games. He'll probably start out next week playing middle linebacker.

The CFA class stands at 12.

Special teams coach Darrin Simmons, naturally, loves speed and say he's "fired up" to start coaching McCalebb.

"When you've got a guy with top-end speed like that, we're going to give him a chance to display it in a variety of ways," Simmons said. "We'll try him returning, as well as being a gunner and covering. The one thing you can't coach is speed. He was a very productive back at Auburn. He returned kickoffs, but that was one of the least things he did. He played a lot from scrimmage, but there just aren't a lot 168-pound NFL backs."

The Bengals could also try him at wide receiver. McCalebb, a product of Fort Meade, Fla., played corner in various situations in high school.

Simmons is also anxious to see what Sharp can do even though the cupboard is full with kicker Mike Nugent and punter Kevin Huber.

"He's a really good combo guy," Simmons said. "I think in his heart he sees himself as a kicker. Just talking to him, that's what I get and I agree with him, but I'm going to try and help him get that clarified in his own mind. But I do recognize he's been an effective punter and we'll give him an opportunity to do some of that as well."

 

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