Prospect Wants Success On And Off The Field

This offensive lineman has his priorities in order heading into his senior football season. Auburn is among the colleges taking a look at this prospect.

Montgomery, Ala.--Summer is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation for high school students as they prepare for another year of education. That's not the way big Antoine Caldwell of Robert E. Lee High sees it.

A visitor to college football camps in addition to training with his teammates and working at a local movie theater, Caldwell has his days and nights taken care of as he readies for his senior season as a Lee General.

"I can't be around the house too much," Caldwell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "That's just the type of person I am. I have to be out and going. If I'm not working out I'm at work. That keeps me busy most of the time. I went to the Alabama camp (May 31-June 3) so I was there for three or four days. I went to the Auburn camp on the 14th and 15th and I just got back from Southern Miss. I've been to three camps this summer.

"It has been great. I've always been taught that competition makes you better. I have enjoyed it. I have gotten to know a lot of the guys that aren't from around here and how they play the game and the different things they do that we don't. It was great getting to know all the guys."

Antoine Caldwell

Soon to be a three-year starter on the offensive line, the 6-3, 260-pounder with 5.2 speed in the 40-yard dash and a 30 ½ inch vertical leap has been a busy young man as he tries to earn a college scholarship along with some spending money on the side. Working out and running four days a week in addition to working five days a week at the movie theatre, Caldwell shows the work ethic and desire off the field that coaches look for in a college football player.

Demonstrating good footwork in pass drills and a mean streak in the running game, Caldwell has been a standout at offensive tackle for two seasons, but will move to guard as a senior. That is good news for him because that is the position that most colleges have him projected playing in the future. Those colleges have taken notice this summer as Caldwell has put up some outstanding performances in summer camps.

"It's tremendous for me to play inside the season," he notes. "It will be good because playing at the 6A level this year will probably put me a step ahead of some of the guys that get moved when they come to college.

"It makes you feel good," Caldwell adds about hearing from schools already. "You work hard and for people to actually see it and it's actually paying off. It feels great. I'm hearing from Auburn, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Louisville (offer), UAB and Southern Miss. Its quite a few right now."

A visitor to Auburn for an earlier summer camp, it is obvious that Auburn offensive line Coach and offensive coordinator Hugh Nall made a big impression on the hard-working Caldwell. Getting some hands-on instruction side-by-side with guys like Anthony Boudreaux from Chalmette, La., B.J. Stabler from Clarke County plus several other top players, Caldwell says that the Tigers are seriously in the running for his services because of Nall.

"I like the intensity," he notes. "I can't really explain. It's just the atmosphere. He coaches you hard and he wants you to play hard. He expects nothing less from you. If a coach expects that from you most of the time the player is going to do it. He likes to get after it and that's just my style of football. I love that at Auburn."

Something coaches won't have to worry about with Caldwell is hitting the books. A solid student with a 3.5 GPA with a 21 on the ACT, he is already a sure bet to be qualified for the fall of 2004. Listening to him talk about that side of his student-athlete duties makes Caldwell a player to root for no matter what school he attends in the future. He is definitely a player with his head on straight.

"A lot of people get off-track when it comes down to academics," Caldwell says. "They think that if they play football they can't do academics because it takes up too much time. You have to make time for it; it has to be the number one thing. Football is not going to be there forever so I think academics should be the most important thing to an athlete anyway. That's why I try to stay on top of my academics as much as possible."

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