Calais Campbell is a native of Denver, CO being born and raised in the Mile High City in 1986 to his parents Charles and Nateal. Calais grew up in a family of 10 people, including his parents, his 5 brothers and 2 older sisters. His father, Charles, named him Calais. Calais’s isn’t the only one in his family with an original and unique name, there are plenty.
The rise of a young football star….
Calais started playing football at the age of 6 with all of his brothers. They played for the Denver Pirates at the Skyline Recreation Center in the neighborhood of Park Hill, in CO. Saturdays consisted of lots of football games. Often times supporting all the Campbell boys playing a sport became an assignment between dad, mom, and sisters. “Okay, you go to this game, I’ll go to that game, and you two go to this game over here.” The Campbell household was always a fun and lively place to be around. Between dance contest and birthday parties, there was always entertainment to be found.
Calais attended Denver South High School and started as a freshman on the varsity football team. His freshmen year consisted of playing with former NFL running back LeDale White. Calais graduated from South High School in 2004. Just a few months before his dad passed away. Calais gave Denver South 2004 graduating class a speech to remember, based off of a few lessons he learned from his father. “Work hard at everything you do!”
Calais attended the University of Miami in fall of 2004. He graduated from the U in 2008 with a degree in advertising and marketing. Calais did well at the University of Miami under coach Larry Coker and continued to do so for Coach Randy Shannon playing football. Calais has always been proud of his Hurricane roots! He recognizes he is among an elite alum. Calais graduated within 3 ½ years of being in Miami, FL. Graduation a top priority for Calais and his experience at the U. While he had some football eligibility left, and tons of love and dedication for his school, Calais decided he would enter the NFL draft in 2008 instead of staying an additional year at the U. This was not an easy decision for Calais. Though, it worked out for him.
Calais was drafted to the Arizona Cardinals in April of 2008. He was the 50th pick overall. Being drafted to the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 gave Calais his first opportunity to experience playing in the Superbowl.
What an incredible feeling! The Superbowl ambiance was everything he had wished for all those years playing in little league, high school, and college. From the fighter planes flying over the stadium, to the National Anthem being sung, the clear emotion, all led to a dream game. The Superbowl provided the perfect atmosphere, the crowd, the noise, the thrill, the game, itself! Though that year, Calais’s rookie season, did not lead to a championship ring, it did provide a thirst to get back to the Superbowl and a hunger to not only play, yet to win the game!
Calais is hopeful! Every year he sets out for the championship win.
Calais has improved every year. He became a starter for the Defensive line of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2009 season. He has recorded numerous sacks, numerous tackles, forced fumbles, and much more. He contributes to his team in size, talent, personality, spirit, and athleticism.
Calais hopes to also achieve Pro Bowler status in the upcoming future. Each year he strives to get closer and closer with improving statics.
Calais won the Arizona Cardinals 2011 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, thanks to the efforts he puts forth off the field being similar to the tackles and sacks he puts on the field. He, along with his sister, Keyonne, founded the CRC Foundation in honor of their dad. Calais’s dad just so happens to be his hero. Every game you will find that Calais kneels in prayer at the far side endzone in whatever city he plays. One of his well wishes during this prayer is for the health and strength of every player, as well as a thank you to his dad for watching the game from above. His dad taught Calais, if you want to be the best, you have to work harder than everybody else. Something that Calais to this day, strives to do daily, especially on the football field.
This year Calais is the Franchise Tag player for the Arizona Cardinals.
This self-proclaimed “big kid” is 6’8, 300 lbs. When you see Calais he is usually participating in one of his favorite hobbies, any competition (like chess, board games, poker, video games, acting). Calais is usually enjoying life to the fullest capacity. His typical day not involving football is hanging with his brothers. Writing skits, which they have been doing since their younger days, reading, enjoying music, eating and watching movies, and working out.
Little known fact about Calais, the first time he was ever in a major newspaper, was when he participated in a Chess Tournament with his brothers, Severin and Jared when he was 10 years of age.