'Coach' Jake Campos helping Iowa State teammates, awaiting rehab
Experienced offensive lineman unsure of return timeline after broken leg
AMES — Jake Campos has gotten pretty used to his scooter.
After breaking his left leg during fall camp last month, Iowa State’s junior offensive lineman has resumed normal daily activities with the help of a four-wheeled scooter he kneels on while his left leg — with a bright green cast — sticks out behind him.
As much as he’s able to do with the help of that scooter, any physical work on the field remains off in the distance. So Campos is finding other ways he can contribute.
“I sit back and watch everybody do drills and then I just kind of use what I’ve learned over my two years of playing and really help them by just talking through what’s going to happen and what certain looks are going to look like,” Campos said.
“I’ve seen some of these guys from last year so I can tell them how they’re going to play. Then just really try to calm people down and help give them confidence going into the game.”
Campos suffered the broken leg while he was blocking on a screen in a drill. A teammate slipped off a tackle and fell on the leg while it was planted. After undergoing surgery and checking out of the hospital, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell wanted him back on the field coaching his teammates.
The first-year Cyclones coach, who cut his teeth as an offensive line coach, hasn’t been disappointed.
“He’s earned an A so far in Coaching 100; he’s done a great job,” Campbell said. “He’s out there and he’s got his little scooter and he’s out there stretching during stretch. So I thought that was a good sign. He’s doing a really good job for us and I appreciate it.”
Along with his coaching responsibilities during practice, Campos lifts three times a week and executes upper body lifts and even lifts with his right leg. He said he is supposed to get his cast off at the end of the month and will begin his full rehab process with work in the pool.
As for a return this season, Campos said there are a lot of variables that have to flesh out before anything can be determined for certain. Should he not play this season, the 6-foot-8, 305-pounder said a medical redshirt would also be an option he would explore.
“It all depends on how it feels once I get out and start trying to get mobility back in,” Campos said. “What rate that’s going to be, nobody can really tell right now.”
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