Athletic Offensive Lineman High On The Tigers

One of Alabama's top lineman prospects talks about his recruitment and how his senior season is progressing.

Montgomery, Ala.--With depth a concern on the offensive line, there is little doubt those positions will be a focus for the signee Class of 2004 for Auburn. A player who is receiving a lot of attention from the Tigers is big Antoine Caldwell from Robert E. Lee High School.

A 6-4, 265-pounder with the quickness and speed to play inside and also the strength to play tackle, Caldwell will make some college happy when he signs in February. He says that he's been getting more and more attention as the weeks progress this fall so he will have plenty of options to choose from when he makes his decision on where he is headed.

"I'm getting calls from quite a few schools, but it hasn't gotten too hectic yet," Caldwell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I think I've been handling it pretty well. I'm still focusing on school and my season."

An up-can-coming prospect since his performance at several summer camps (including one at Auburn) when he ran several 40-yard dash times in just over five seconds, Caldwell's list of suitors has grown. Originally Louisville was the first school to offer him, but that list has increased since then and two leaders have risen to the top for his services.

"I'm hearing from Alabama, Auburn, Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Miss, Vanderbilt and a couple of other teams like Central Florida and South Florida.

"I think Alabama and Auburn are probably my two frontrunners," he adds. "I'm not going to say two favorites. I also like Vanderbilt and Southern Miss because of the relationships that I've grown with the coaches. I have them up there, too."

Antoine Caldwell is shown in a game a Robert E. Lee game this season.

Caldwell had a chance to take in one of the top games in the country last weekend when he made the short drive from Montgomery to Auburn to see the Tigers take on the seventh-ranked Tennessee Volunteers. After witnessing a game and an atmosphere that was all you could ask for, Caldwell says that the weekend couldn't have gone any better.

"It was great," Caldwell says of his visit to Auburn. "I got the chance to talk to Coach Nall (Hugh Nall), my position coach, before the game. We talked a little bit about what he expected from the game. We had a chance to talk to each other and he told me how much they wanted me there and how I was their number one guy. Then after the game I talked to Coach Tuberville (Tommy Tuberville). He seemed like a weight was off his chest after winning the game. I felt good for him.

"I've always said about Auburn fans, no matter what is going on they stay behind their team 110 percent. I'll probably be up for the Mississippi State game (in two weeks). I talked to Coach Whitt (Joe Whitt) and he told me they were playing Mississippi State at home. I'll probably get up to see that one."

It has been an up-and-down season for the Generals this year with three wins and three losses. While the record might not look great, the schedule maker hasn't been kind to Lee this season with their losses coming to undefeated teams Hoover 24-14 in the opener, 6-0 to resurgent Carver and 31-0 to Opelika. Caldwell says the schedule should prepare them well for the stretch run of the season and into the playoffs.

"Last year we had a real disappointing season and we came in this year and expectations were real high," Caldwell says. "They're still high and I think there were a couple of games that we could have easily won to be 5-1 or 4-2 right now, but things just haven't gone our way. We're 3-3 right now and do play the number one schedule in Alabama when you look at it from top to bottom.

"I think the schedule helps out mentally because you can prepare a lot easier. It doesn't take much to get up for a rival or when you play someone as good as Hoover. It makes you a lot tougher when you go down the stretch. Playing a tough schedule like that is probably the best thing that could have happened to us."


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