Spoke with Oswego East’s 2017 WR Kijana Caldwell on his personal goals for this season, schools he’s been in touch with and his relentless work ethic to improve his game.
You can find Kijana on Twitter @kijantron.
Wt: 175 lbs
Commitment status: Undecided
LPI: What were the most important things you did this offseason and are now doing in practice so you can improve this season?
KC: Personally, I’ve never been the biggest or strongest on the team so during the offseason I took the initiative to hit the weight room and gain some muscle prior to the season. While lifting I also worked on catching and route running. These things have improved my game and helped develop skill and technique.
LPI: Where do you currently have offers from? What are your greatest strengths or why should a school offer you?
KC: Currently I have an NAIA offer from Robert Morris University, and a Division 1 offer from Valparaiso University. A school should offer me due to the fact that I am a hardworking student athlete with a 3.57 GPA, a 22 ACT, and 1110 SAT. This shows that I am not only focused on getting it done on the field, but also in the classroom. I also am a coachable individual always willing to learn new techniques and improve my game on a daily basis.
LPI: Offer or not, which schools have you kept in contact with the most?
KC: Including the schools that have offered me, I have kept in contact with a handful of schools. These schools include Columbia University, North Dakota State, Drake, Dayton, and Butler. Hopefully more as the season progresses.
LPI: Where have you visited most recently and do you have any visits coming up?
KC: In the past couple of weeks I have visited Valparaiso and Drake. Each were for game day visits. I have not taken any official visits at this point. I intend on visiting more Universities in the future, but have not scheduled any at this point in time.
LPI: What’re your personal goals for this season?
KC: My personal goals for this season revolve around developing skills needed to transfer into college football. Each practice and opportunity on the field is valuable. Of course statistics are a big part of the game, but those will come with perfect technique. Touchdowns, yardage, and receptions all will and have been obtained when the smallest things are perfected.
LPI: What have you guys been doing more now than ever so you can make another deep run in the playoffs?
KC: We have a motto here at Oswego East, which is Embrace the Hunt. The hunt is the preparation prior to the games on Friday nights. The preparation involves mental and physical engagement every day, and it starts with watching film. Knowing an opponent’s ins and outs is a key to success. Each individual person has a task and when the task is complete games are won and playoff appearances are lengthened.
LPI: You guys have quality players in yourself, Ivory Kelly-Martin, Jaylon Banks, Devin Aguilar and Elijah James that have been getting recruiting attention. Who are some of your other teammates that you believe have a chance to play at the next level, but may be getting overlooked by college coaches?
Tahj Oliver (LB/ATH) – A smart outstanding leader, and has played numerous positions throughout his career. He is also very strong and football minded.
Colin O’Reilly (OLB) – O’Reilly is a person who does the little things to make himself and his teammates better. He has a vast amount of potential to play at the next level.
Omarr Woodhouse (DE/OT) – Woodhouse is 3 year varsity starter moving around from defensive line to offensive line. He is a very intelligent player and is ready to play any position needed to improve the team.
Tyran Bailey (ATH) – Bailey moving from RB to CB was a comfortable move for him. He is a very athletic and shifty guy who is not afraid to lay a hit or make a big play at any point in the game.
Stephon Harris (WR) – He is a 6’4 235 pound wide receiver that knows how to go up and make the spectacular catch when needed; he’s one that started his football career late but learns fast, he has the opportunity to make it to the next level.
BJ Graves (MLB) – Graves is a 3 year varsity player that fills the whole well and a dominate player for the defense.
Antwain Walker (CB) – Walker is a 6’2 corner and know the technique for a lot of different coverages and make plays on the ball very well. As a whole each of these players contribute and have what it takes to play football at the next level.