Former Wyoming Area football player Julian Campenni received a birthday gift he’ll never forget.
At the team’s annual Media Day on Aug. 26, University of Connecticut football coach Bob Diaco named Campenni, a defensive lineman for the Huskies, one of four captains for the 2015 season.
“Julian Campenni is kind of quiet, but a great listener,” Diaco said at a press conference. “He does it the right way on campus, and then he goes on the field and produces. I think his greatest trait is that he goes on the field and does well. He plays well, he makes plays, he’s hard to block, he’s disruptive and that’s recognized by the football family in terms of that value. And it’s Julian’s birthday today so, happy birthday, Julian.”
A redshirt senior from West Pittston, Campenni shares the captain role with Andrew Adams, Andreas Knappe and Marquise Vann. The fifth-year senior couldn’t be happier about being named captain.
“It means everything,” he told reporters at media day. “I want to say thank you to my teammates for electing me a captain. I love all the guys that we have on this team and just to be able to represent them is truly special.”
Three of the four captains play defense for the Huskies and Campenni is looking forward to the defense carrying his football team.
“It’s an exciting time for them,” Diaco said. “If you think about what a captain is in general, you’re looking for class, you’re looking for mental toughness, you’re looking for physical toughness.”
Campenni started all 12 games at nose tackle for the Huskies in 2014. He finished the season with 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He had six tackles and 1.5 tackles in a loss against Stony Brook to open last season. In 2013, Campenni started 11 of 12 games. In the past three seasons, he has played in 34 games and started 25. He was redshirted in his freshman season.
While at Wyoming Area, Campenni was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class AA All-State Second Team. He was a Times Leader All-Wyoming Valley Conference First Team and WVC Small School MVP. In his senior season with the Warriors, he made 106 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, had 10 sacks and forced seven fumbles.
Campenni is a human development and family studies major. The Huskies will host Villanova on Thursday, Sept. 3 to start the season.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-602-0178 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick