For Caleb Presley, his latest offer was worth the wait.
After hearing from a lot of schools but not the hometown University of Washington, the Eastside Catholic High School defensive back on Wednesday received a scholarship bid from the Huskies.
A 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore, Presley was eager to hear from the program that has a reputation for producing top-level defensive backs.
“It’s been a hometown dream of mine and it’s finally here,” Presley said shortly after he landed the Washington offer, which brought his total to 12.
Power 5 schools now targeting Presley include USC, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Oregon State, Oregon, and California.
“I study and follow players,” he said. “I have no bias towards a school.”
Despite coming from a tight-knit Presley clan, and while pleased the Huskies are interested, he would be willing to leave home if the situation is right.
“Family is huge for me,” he said. “[But] I’m just looking for a place that fits me. I don’t mind going somewhere else if it’s the right fit.”
Playing a spring season has been challenging for Presley, because teams won’t throw the ball his way.
“I have been targeted 8 times in four games,” he said. “It can be frustrating.”
He keeps it all in perspective. He’s matured a lot over the past year and a half.
“I am focused on controlling the things that I can control,” he said.
In the Presley household, basketball used to reign supreme until Caleb was in the eighth grade when he gave it up for football.
“My dad was a big-time hooper for Rainier Beach,” he said of his 6-foot-6 father, Clarence.
The younger Presley was a pretty good basketball player himself, dunking right before he gave up the sport.
“My dad wasn’t happy when I decided to play only football,” he said. “Playing football was going against his will.”
His dad is OK with his decision to focus his efforts on football now. However, they sometimes still try to settle their different views on the subject on the court by going one-on-one battle for household supremacy.
“It’s over when I step back and say, ‘For Kobe,” as I shoot over him,” he said, chuckling. “He might tell a different story, but it’s a lie. I’ll get him every day of the week.”
Presley said that he feels that one thing that separates great athletes from elite athletes is attitude. He’s taken perspective from the best in trying to become the latter.
“I have Kobe Bryant’s book, ‘How I Play,’ and I’ve studied his game,” he said. “I take Kobe’s ‘Mamba Mentality’ onto the field with me.”
In these tough times, Presley has appreciated the pandemic only for how it’s taken an already tight-knit family and made it closer.
“My family means everything to me,” he said. “I appreciate everybody around me a whole lot more.”
Another reason to get an offer from the hometown school.