It's only the summer before his junior season, but Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview's Caleb King has already created a buzz in recruiting circles. King, a 5-foot-11, 186-pounder, is being mentioned among the best running backs in the nation for the class of 2007, and for good reason.
King has been a standout performer on both the football field and camp circuit since his freshman season. In 2004 as a sophomore, King led the Panthers to a 13-2 record while amassing 1,858 total yards and 19 touchdowns. In Georgia's largest classification, King was a threat on offense, defense and particularly special teams.
Along with a very impressive performance at the Athens NIKE camp in May, where he turned in one of the country's fastest shuttle times (3.88 seconds), he also got it done on the gridiron. King totaled 936 yards rushing on 125 attempts (7.5 avg.) and 12 touchdowns while catching a dozen passes for 397 yards (33.1 avg.) and four more scores. On defense, King tallied 54 total tackles, 37 which were unassisted, and had two interceptions as a cornerback.
But while he was a star on offense and defense, his biggest numbers came on special teams. King returned 11 kickoffs for 525 yards, a whopping 47.7-yard average. Three of the 11 return opportunities he took back for touchdowns.
As a result, King was selected to the 5A first-team all-state. He was the only sophomore in Georgia to be named to the team.
King has not only convinced recruiting analysts that he's one of the top backs in 2007, but also two big-time SEC programs. He picked up his first offer earlier this spring when head coach Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs offered. King picked up his second one earlier this week, this time from Tommy Tuberville and the SEC champion Auburn Tigers.
King attended Auburn's senior camp this past weekend and competed against some of the top seniors in the nation. His impressive performance was yet another reason why he will be among the elite of 2007.
"The camp was competitive," said King. "I really enjoyed it. The coaches helped you, they just weren't there watching. I did good, but I could've done better.
"I did good in the 1-on-1 drills catching the ball out of the backfield," King added. "Coach (Eddie) Gran worked with us on many things at running back like the drop-step and how to receive the ball from the quarterback and how to hold the football."
Shortly after the camp, King got the news that Auburn was offering a scholarship.
"I got an offer from Auburn," said King. "It felt real good to get the offer. They have been recruiting me since my sophomore season and it shows me that they are loyal."
With the offer from Auburn, the Tigers find themselves alone at the top as his very early leader.
"Auburn is my top school right now," said King. "I like Coach Gran. He talks about attitude and personality. There is something about him. He doesn't seem like a coach, he seems more like a friend. I like pretty much everything about Auburn. I love the atmosphere, the facilities and everything."
The Plains have become very familiar to King. His close friend and former Parkview teammate Brad Lester will be a redshirt freshman this year for Auburn. The two standout running backs keep in constant contact and King said he would look forward to reuniting with Lester in the Auburn backfield one day.
"I'd love to play with Brad again at Auburn," said King. "When we are together, we make each other better. We work real hard together in the weight room and I'd like to play in the same backfield with him."
In addition to Auburn, King also lists Georgia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Tennessee as schools of interest.
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