Former Hurricane star Calais Campbell pledges $1.6M to Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Calais Campbell’s fallback plan for a career was to work in advertising, which he studied at the University of Miami.

Fortunately for him, football is working out just fine.

Fortunately for the Hurricanes, he’s also now giving back.

The Pro Bowl defensive lineman from the Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday that he has pledged $1.6 million – the largest single gift ever by a former Hurricanes’ player – to the school with the purpose of perpetually funding a scholarship for a defensive lineman.

”I’ve done well for myself,” said Campbell, a 2008 Miami graduate whose current contract with the Cardinals is for five years and $55 million. ”I’ve worked with the University of Miami to figure out what the best way to give back in a way that it could last for a long time. I didn’t want it to be a one-thing thing. I wanted to make it mean something more.”

Miami is renaming the defensive lineman meeting room at the school in Campbell’s honor. It’s the fourth gift exceeding $1 million that the athletic department has announced in recent weeks.

”Calais is an incredible man and along with his family, understands the importance of education and the impact a positive environment can have on a student-athlete,” Miami athletic director Blake James said.

Campbell was taken by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2008 draft. He said his intent for the scholarship is to ensure that football players understand the value of education.

Campbell’s gift exceeds the $1.5 million pledged earlier this year by former running back Ken Hunt as the largest single pledge by a former Miami player. Campbell – who himself was the beneficiary of an endowed scholarship while playing for the Hurricanes – said the record wasn’t relevant to him, or why his pledge was for that amount.

”It’s not a competition,” Campbell said. ”I did what I could do.”

Campbell has been credited with 277 tackles over the last six seasons, the most by an NFL defensive end in that span according to STATS.