How LSU tackles Will Campbell and Lance Heard developed at Neville High School

Linebackers coach, Chad Johnson, breaks down what it was like coaching Will Campbell and Lance Heard

BATON ROUGE — Chad Johnson needed some help.

He was becoming an offensive line coach for the first time at Neville High School, taking over for the departing Mickey McCarty, who was also Neville's head coach. Johnson had served the past six years as linebackers coach.

He had experience coaching on offense as the former offensive coordinator at Delhi Charter School. But this was a different challenge.

"It was a little learning curve," Johnson said. "(What) I kinda say about myself is I know a little bit about everything but not a lot about each thing."

Enter Will Campbell.

Campbell — despite still being a player and Neville's best offensive lineman — quickly became Johnson's de facto assistant offensive line coach. Among other things, he helped Johnson understand pass blocking techniques (like kick slides and pairing footwork with hand placement), something Johnson wasn't as familiar with since Delhi Charter rarely threw the ball during his time as offensive coordinator.

Johnson was comfortable with Campbell to the point where he'd let the junior coach Neville's offensive tackles during practice while he'd be off working with the interior offensive linemen.

"Everyone respected him just like a coach because he was that good and that good of a person that they trusted him," Johnson said.

Trust. That's the same word LSU football coach Brian Kelly can use to describe his thoughts on Campbell, his starting left tackle for the past two seasons and team captain this year.

But that word is also another way to chronicle the friendship Campbell has with his former high school teammate teammate Lance Heard. Heard, a former top recruit who transferred to Neville for Campbell's senior season, is now teammates again with him at LSU.

The pair have become the future pillars at offensive tackle for LSU's offensive line. But the story of their development doesn't begin in Baton Rouge.

It began in Monroe, Louisiana. "It was pretty unbelievable," Neville coach Jeff Tannehill said.



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