Darius Caldwell said locking down a college scholarship to Georgia Tech this week was “half of a dream come true.”
“I’ve always wanted to play big-time football,” said the the 6-foot-5, 210-pound athlete said.
The other half?
“Well, I want to play pro ball one day,” he said. “But it all starts here.”
Caldwell, who plays defensive end and outside linebacker at Atlanta’s Mays High School, became the 11th verbal commitment of Georgia Tech’s 2011 class and the second in as many days. He joins quarterback Vad Lee of Durham, N.C., who committed to the Yellow Jackets during a news conference at Hillside High Thursday afternoon.
Caldwell’s pledge came with considerably less pomp and circumstance. He actually committed to Tech with a quiet phone call assistant coach Buzz Preston Wednesday night. He didn’t actually receive an official offer from the Yellow Jackets until this past Saturday when he attended the Jackets’ scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“It wasn’t that I always wanted to go to Tech. I had plenty of other options,” said Caldwell, who figures he has “13 or 14″ offers. “But when I sat down with my mom and my coaches, it just seemed like the place I needed to be.”
Caldwell said he also seriously considered offers from South Carolina, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Virginia and Central Florida.
Particularly attractive to Caldwell is the new 3-4 defense of Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh. The Jackets believe he’s the perfect fit and body type for the outside linebacker position. It’s one of the defenses that Mays runs and one that Caldwell has thrived in. A self-described pass-rushing specialists, Caldwell logged eight quarterbacks as a junior last season.
“They started recruiting me in April of last year and I’ve been coming over to see their team a lot since then,” Caldwell said. “It’s just a place I felt comfortable at and a place where I would fit in.”
And that’s worth at least a half-dream.
GEORGIA TECH 2011 COMMITMENTS