Cape Fear High School football standout Justice Galloway-Velazquez was a big part of changing the school’s football program to a winning tradition. Now he wants to do the same for Campbell University.
In an announcement that caught some people by surprise, Galloway-Velazquez recently revealed he’s made an oral commitment to play football for the Camels.
Many expected the Cape Fear quarterback and linebacker to choose a more high-profile program, but Galloway-Velazquez said there were a lot of commonsense reasons why he went with Campbell.
One was the attention he got from the Campbell coaching staff, especially defensive line coach Damien Adams, who was the primary recruiter pursuing Galloway-Velazquez for the Camels.
“He stayed with me throughout the whole process, gave me the love and care I was looking for and wasn’t receiving from other schools,’’ Galloway- Velazquez said.
There were overtures from some more highprofile schools, but many of them wanted to see Galloway-Velazquez in person on their campuses and at camps. Most of those requests came last spring when he was recovering from surgery for an ankle injury that took place in the Eastern Regional championship game with Scotland near the end of his junior season.
“With the ankle injury, there were some questions from some schools with how he would recover,’’ said Colt coach Jake Thomas. “I feel he probably was under-recruited for his size, talent and production on the field.’’
Thomas said he’s checked the North Carolina High School Athletic Association record book and is confident Galloway-Velazquez ranks in the top ten in the state all-time in all-purpose yards, thanks to his combination of rushing and passing prowess during his career at Cape Fear.
But the question remains if he’ll play quarterback or linebacker at Campbell. Galloway-Velazquez said he’s leaning toward the defensive side of the football but added no final decision has been made.
“We’ll talk it over a lot more,’’ he said.
“We’ll see where I need to be to benefit the team.’’
Thomas said Campbell will likely be happy wherever it decides to use Galloway-Velazquez.
“He was a guy who could emotionally, mentally and physically will your team to victory,’’ Thomas said. “He’ll go down as one of the top athletes in Cumberland County history, and definitely the top player in Cape Fear history.’’
Photo: Justice Galloway-Velazquez