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NFL players vote Calais Campbell Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year for 2017


Calais Campbell was one of the NFL’s best-kept defensive secrets when he towered over the desert in Arizona. It took him putting the big sacks in Sacksonville to break through as the league’s unquestioned best defensive player.

Campbell, 31, is Sporting News’ Defensive Player of the Year for 2017, an award voted on by his peers. A two-time Pro Bowler with the Cardinals, Campbell was named first-team All-Pro for the first time in his first season with the Jaguars.

Campbell was able to emerge from that great group because of his versatility and veteran leadership for a young team that turned around on and off the field because of his presence.

Campbell was a steal of a second-round pick for the Cardinals for many seasons. Ten years later, everyone now knows and respects him as Defensive Player of the Year.

Saint Louis led by nine points, 53-44, on a pair of Davell Roby free throws with 7:16 remaining. Jenkins answered with two free throws, Tillman scored off a Saint Louis turnover and Vann scored back-to-back layups as VCU cut the gap to 55-52 with just over five minutes left.

Javon Bess put the Billikens up 61-58 with 15 seconds to go when Jenkins took a pass on the other end, dribbled left, beat his defender and launched the tying 3-pointer.

Bess and D.J. Foreman scored 20 points each for Saint Louis (10-11, 3-5) and Jordan Goodwin added 15 with 10 rebounds before fouling out with five seconds left in the game.

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