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Ravens Rookie Michael Campanaro Taking On Challenge

May 16, 2014

As a boy growing up in Howard County, Michael Campanaro's family was split in its football allegiance between the Ravens and Washington Redskins.

But for Campanaro, there was no ambiguity.

Ravens 2014: Michael Campanaro
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox

"I went to more Ravens games growing up," said Campanaro, a former running back who attended River Hill High School. "Our family was pretty much split, but they're 100 percent Ravens [fans] now."

The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Campanaro may have been the low man on the totem pole as far as draft position was concerned (seventh round, 218th overall pick), but at least he shares one thing in common with fellow slot man and new teammate Steve Smith.

"He's a [future] Hall of Fame receiver," Campanaro said. "But when we're out on the field with the rest of the receivers, we're definitely the two shortest guys out there."

Campanaro won't have to shy away from third-round draft pick Terrence Brooks, either.

Campanaro and his Wake Forest teammates managed an upset against Florida State during his sophomore year, and he also went up against Brooks during the Senior Bowl.

"Brooks was a beast," Campanaro said. "We had to go to a quick-game kind of scheme because of him. We knocked them off, so I got to talk a little trash."

Campanaro said that his running back experience at River Hill -- he ran for more than 1,800 yards and scored 29 touchdowns as a senior -- was beneficial when playing receiver.

"It helps out," he said. "When it comes to protecting the ball, making guys miss and knowing where the [first-down] sticks are, it helps."

DOLED-OUT DIGITS: As Ravens Report and other outlets have already reported, Mosley has been given the blessing by senior player development advisor O.J. Brigance to wear the latter's former 57 jersey.

Mosley will be the fifth player in Ravens history to wear the number and the first since CBS-TV analyst Bart Scott left the Ravens for the New York Jets after the 2008 season.

Here are the numbers for the rest of the team's draft class, and the significance of those numbers.

• The No. 97 jersey has already had quite a defensive line history, what with it being worn by stalwart nose tackle Kelly Gregg and pass-rushing end Arthur Jones. These days, Timmy Jernigan is wearing it.

• Brooks will try to restore the luster of the 33 shirt that dimmed a bit when it was donned last year by since-departed safety Christian Thompson. Undrafted running back Priest Holmes wore it, as did the team's leading rusher in 2008, fullback Le'Ron McClain.

• Of the 13 players that have worn 80 for the Ravens, Brandon Stokley may have stood out the most. Tight end Crockett Gillmore will get a chance to change that. Also, defensive end Brent Urban will take on a number that, like that of Mosley, has a short history. Urban will be the fifth Raven to wear 96, which Adalius Thomas made famous.

• Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is not exactly Ricky Williams, but he's wearing Williams' former 34 shirt. Guard John Urschel brings brainpower to the team, and he's also getting the brawny Edwin Mulitalo's 64 jersey.

• Quarterback Keith Wenning didn't win a Heisman Trophy at Ball State, but he's wearing the No. 10 of former Heisman winner Troy Smith, and wideout Campanaro has come home to wear No. 6, which no Ravens wideout has worn during a regular-season game.

• Among the undrafted class, the No. 61 has been given out twice, with a purple-colored offensive jersey going to ex-Iowa tackle Brett Van Sloten, and a white defensive shirt given to former Temple defensive tackle Levi Brown.

• Highly touted North Carolina tackle James Hurst has been assigned Michael Oher's former 74 shirt.

Joe Platania is in his 21st season covering professional football.