Shafer praises Wake Forest wide receiver Campanaro

Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer compared Wake Forest wide receiver Michael Campanero to New England Patriots star Wes Welker. Campanero and the Demon Deacons visit the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Since his sophomore season, Michael Campanaro has been one of the most productive weapons in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He notched a career-best 833 receiving yards in 2011 and could surpass that mark Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome — he has 792 so far this year.

During the teleconference, Shafer had lofty praise for the Wake Forest wide receiver.

“He reminds me of Wes Welker,” Shafer said.

Campanaro has hauled in 65 balls and tallied 100 receiving yards three times this year, including a 177-yard day against Louisiana-Monroe in September. Against the Orange in 2011, Campanaro had 79 yards through the air.

What sets him apart, Shafer said, are many of the same attributes that separate the Denver Broncos wide receiver from other wideouts.

“He’s good at finding the windows,” Shafer said, “and the combination of his ability to just slide in pockets.”

At 5 feet, 11 inches and 190 pounds, Campanaro is built similarly to the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Welker.

At Texas Tech, Welker had bigger junior and senior campaigns — he topped 1,000 yards in each — but Campanaro has been more consistent through his four years.

Paired with quarterback Tanner Price’s ability to hit those spots, Campanaro can “make some really good plays,” Shafer said. In the Demon Deacons’ win over Maryland on Saturday, Campanaro became WFU’s all-time receptions leader with 217.

“He’s just got great anticipation for where the windows are going to be,” Shafer said. “He’s got really good route-running technique and ability and he’s really good with his body control.

“He’s a very good football player and we’ll have our hands full.”


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