FORT MILL — Although it’s just a verbal commitment, Nation Ford senior quarterback Dalton Helms said last week he will be going to Campbell University to play football next year.
Located in Buies Creek, N.C., the Division I FCS school is coached by former Carolina Panther Mike Minter.
Helms said he chose Campbell over Newberry College, Presbyterian College, North Greenville University and others because of its academics and the opportunities he would have on the field.
“I liked it up there and the academics are great,” he said.
Helms also said it would give him a chance to travel and see parts of the country he might not get to see otherwise.
“I will get to play teams from across the country,” he said. “And it’s not too often you get a chance to play for a Pro-Bowl coach.”
Campbell’s 2014 schedule includes games against Appalachian State, Charleston Southern and Jacksonville, which could put Helms head-to-head against former Fort Mill quarterback Rylan Wells, now with Jacksonville. Both teams are part of the Pioneer Football League. Campbell will have home games next year against UNC-Charlotte, Valparaiso, Butler and Davidson.
One thing that Helms said was attractive about going to Campbell is the chance to make an impact right away.
“The starting spot is up for grabs,” he said. “Having a chance to play has an impact.”
Helms said Campbell’s offense is more of a 60/40 passing-running game and the team also runs the spread offense, like Nation Ford does.
As a senior, Helms passed for 3,233 yards with 29 touchdowns going 216-388 throwing the ball, as well as rushing for 282 yards on 95 carries and five touchdowns. Helms set several school records along the way for career passing yards, touchdowns, pass completions, pass attempts, most touchdowns in a game and most passing yards in a game.
For his career at Nation Ford, Helms completed 55 percent of his passes going 395-717 for 5,792 yards and 50 touchdowns. He rushed for another 604 yards and nine touchdowns in his three years at the varsity level.
Helms plans on being a pre-med major with an emphasis in biology. He can officially sign with Campbell in February.