Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro High's Kyle Caldwell is most likely the top player in the state of Arizona this year. His early offers are indicative of the talent level of this standout defensive end.
"I have 17 offers so far," the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Caldwell said. "I have been offered by every PAC 10 school except Stanford. The others are Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Texas, Colorado, Colorado State and Miami. That's all I can think of right now. Arizona State, Nebraska and Notre Dame are recruiting me the hardest."
The onslaught of calls and visits that Caldwell has had to deal with can be tough to deal with at times. "About 47 schools came to our spring drills. And there have been 30-40 schools who have called me. On the first day of the May calling period, 25 schools called me. It was a mess. I couldn't even talk to them all. My mom has been helping me filter my calls. It has all been a little overwhelming at times. I'm just trying to take it all in."
In spite of the deluge of interest, Caldwell has been able to determine an early top five schools that he is looking at. "This could change as time goes on, but right now my top five is still Oregon, UCLA, Nebraska, Arizona State and Notre Dame." (his comments follow):
Oregon - "I love their coaching staff. I like how the whole program is on the same page. They just did a bunch of renovation of their facilities. They've added seats to the stadium and improved the weight room which is big for me because weight lifting so important to me."
UCLA - "I'm going to their one day camp on June 8. It's a great school academically. It's the bigger of the LA schools and they're on national TV every week which is a big benefit. I like the exposure."
Nebraska - "I haven't been to their school yet, but I'm excited to take a trip there. They have such a winning tradition. They're always competing for National Championships. I like how they've changed their playing surface to that new field turf stuff because I hate Astroturf. Everyone knows about their weight program and their health and nutrition program is probably the best in the country."
Arizona State - "My mom and dad went there. My dad, Brian Caldwell, was All-PAC 10 at ASU. He was a defensive end on their 1983 Fiesta Bowl team. I have a lot of ties to ASU. I'm excited to see what Coach Koetter and the team will do this year because they didn't have that good of a year last year. Their coaches are a great group of guys."
Notre Dame - "I'm also excited to see what Coach Willingham will do there. He's going to put in the west coast offense and they've never run it there before. It should be interesting to see how that goes. They are a great academic school too."
As to when and how he will make his final determination on which school is ultimately the best place for him, Caldwell said: "Even though my parents went to ASU, they aren't putting any pressure on me to go there. My dad, mom and grandfather are going to help me whittle down my choices. I plan to take all of my trips and distance won't be a factor at all for me."
As things stand right now, he said that his five favorites would be the recipients of his official visits.
As for his summer camp plans, the only other camp besides the June 8 UCLA camp he will be attending is, "I'm going to the ASU camp on Sunday (June 2)."
Caldwell will have his choice of pretty much any school he wants to attend.