Two weeks ago we brought you a story on an emerging HUGE talent. Looking deep into the woods of SW Washington for this story we followed the lead of our good friend Ryan Paul of New Athlete. In January he first told us about a young stud that he felt had "limitless potential" as a student athlete. Knowing this was one of the only calls we have ever received from Paul, a leading strength and SAQ Trainer, it seemed we needed to find out more.
That led us to Air One Football Academy in Vancouver, Washington where former 1st Team All American QB John Charles was holding camps. And it was there we first laid eyes on 6'8" – 270 pound Kaleb McGarry. It was a fun thing to see a young kid this big and this ready to get after it. What we saw was an absolute physical force who can run and jump like a much smaller player but who has the core strength of a much bigger player.
Attending the Air One Camps all year on and off has let us get to know Kaleb and his family on a first name basis. Sharing his dreams and goals and objectives with all of us it was clear to see that with Paul and Charles helping him and his God given size he was going to be an impact guy potentially.
Through the months he reached out to a few Colleges; namely Oregon State, the Washington Huskies, and The Boise State Broncos. All three schools became interested after reading our story and viewing some film we shot of him. The Battleground High School student may not have a lot of film to show off just yet but his abilities seemed to suggest that was not going to be a must in his case.
McGarry is a good student and a hard worker. He is the Center on the hardwood for Coach Gary Wards NW Panthers AAU Squad and that takes up a lot of his time. He is a an essential part of the Panthers who have a very aggressive travel schedule as a top rated team.
This week Football finally got a chance to take center stage for McGarry. His week ahead is a busy one. In fact in the 10 days beginning this past Saturday Kaleb McGarry has gone from a virtual unknown to a Pac 12 level 10th Grader.
That happened today when the Oregon State Beaver's offered. Did we forget to mention that?
"Wow. I am sort of in shock you know? This is really great," said Kaleb still sort of numb.
How did he go from an introduction on line and over the phone to this?
"You guys did that story and shot that film of me. Then I went to a work out at OSU Saturday. I got to meet the Coaches and Coach Jay Locey worked me out at Tight End for a while. Then I went down with the O'Linemen and worked out with Coach Cavanaugh. It was intense!"
In what McGarry said was as hard of a workout as playing 4 full basketball games the big fellah gave it his all. And it must have been more then enough because his performance there lead to the offer today.
"Coach Locey said they loved me. He gave me high marks for how hard I worked and the way I showed up. That made me feel great and was good to hear," said Kaleb.
Taking a page from our stories on recruiting McGarry and his family have chosen to go after OSU, UW, and Boise State and not wait to see if they are interested. That means reaching out to these schools.
This Friday at the NW ELITE Football Camp (Gesser Camp) McGarry will hit his first ever showcase style camp. And he is doing so because the College Coaches will be there in force. As many as 50 Coaches are expected at Mercer Island High School and in that group will be Head Huskies Coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff and several Coaches from Boise State as well.
"I am looking forward to this. The Camp is going to have many of the top guys. And getting to work out in front of the Huskies and Broncos and all these other schools and learn from their Coaches too is going to be amazing," he said. "This week my life is changing."
Friday's Camp may give those schools enough to work with to make an offer. Saturday he will hit the SPARQ Combine at Tigard High School and Sunday he will make the Nike NFTC at Oregon. At this point Kaleb stands to be a major recruit in short order. Especially when you consider the fact he has yet to play his Junior season.
"What the Beaver's did was smart. When you see a kid of this physical size and ability you don't wait. Kaleb is ahead of the curve from a preparation standpoint and is an extremely dedicated kid. He is doing things from a strength perspective he should not really be doing. We push him hard and he responds. So this offer was not a surprise to me but certainly exciting for all of us at New Athlete," said Coach Ryan Paul who knows a thing or two about training these top guys!
Over to Coach Charles, the Football Skills Coach, we went for a quote.
"Physical. Smart. A non-stop worker. He is doing his "AM"s and PM"s" as we call it and not laying around. In that frame he could do anything he wants as a player. And he is a good student. I give him high marks and we love him," said Charles who has become instrumental in many kids recruiting success using his connections to hook up top 2013 talent QB Kolney Cassel (Eisenhower HS-SMU) and Nate Halverson (Grant HS- SMU) among others as a part of his commitment to the kids.
Kaleb's family is so happy and he is says his Mom was about in tears.
"She is so supportive of me. My whole Family is. But I think it is just hitting us all that this is happening now. And life has been a little rough lately so it came at a good time," offered the intelligent big kid.
In fact the family has been caught a wash in the housing crisis and will be needing to move to the Tacoma area to live with Family it appears.
"We are still not 100% sure but it looks 90% like I will be living in Fife, Washington when the Fall comes if not before. That part is up in the air a bit," he said. "Either way I am focused on staying happy and enjoying the people around me no matter what school I end up at next year."
OSU took this small town kid from zero offers and little interest all the way to the Pac 12 today. And while there is a whole lotta water that has to cross under the McGarry Bridge he says Corvallis could be his home of the future.
"The Coaches were great and I can already see they can teach me. Coach Cavanaugh is a great mentor and technician and has put a lot of guys through OSU to the NFL. That matters a lot. And the Campus and environment felt good too. It really did," he concluded.
Alabama, Nebraska, and maybe LSU or Oregon are schools of interest for him. And like most kids of this caliber he will be forced to make a choice as offers will certainly come in; probably more then he can count on both hands. But tonight Kaleb McGarry is going to sleep very well knowing his life changed today for the better thanks to Oregon State University and the great group of people he has around him.