A 5-11, 175 speedster with an impressive ability to return kickoffs and punts for touchdowns, speedy Matt Caddell from McAdory High has continued to soar up the recruiting charts after a strong start to his senior season. Playing wingback for the Yellow Jackets, he has torn up opposing defenses in leading his team to a 5-0 start and a top-10 ranking.
"I really loved it," Caddell tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It was pretty exciting. The coaches told me they were going to put me in Tiger Walk and I loved that. It was a great game and a great atmosphere. It's a great place to play football."
Even after such a positive experience, he says that he's still completely wide open and from his list of schools there's no doubting that statement. Saying that Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Penn State, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Florida, Clemson, South Carolina and Arkansas have all expressed interest with most giving offers, Caddell notes that it might be hard to leave the state in the long run.
"It doesn't really matter to me," he says about leaving the state. "It's nothing but distance. It's going to be hard for me to go out of state coming from such a big football state like Alabama."
Caddell has managed to pull within distance of a state record already this season after a terrific performance against Fairfield last Friday night. Returning two punts for touchdowns, his 10th and 11th of his career, he moved within one of a state record in that category and has a great chance to be the leader before the season is done. While his speed has a lot to do with his success, Caddell says there are other factors involved.
"The first thing I do is look around and see if the kick is catchable," Caddell notes of his punt return routine. "It's just an instinct to me. If I have to shake somebody I wil, but I just try to follow my blockers and that's usually good enough."
As a junior Caddell played mostly wide receiver and caught 27 passes for 493 yards and six touchdowns despite constant double and triple teaming. He also managed to return four kicks for touchdowns without many opportunities.
A standout at several summer camps, including a camp on the Auburn campus, Caddell caught the eyes of college coaches by running a time of 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and having a vertical jump of 40 inches. Perhaps the thing that was most impressive to college scouts on Caddell was a shuttle run time of under four seconds, which is akin to running a 40-yard dash time of under 4.4 seconds.
Caddel, who attended a summer football camp at AU, is being recruited as a wide receiver by most of the schools on his list and could also play defensive back on the collegiate level. He plays his high school football at the home of former Auburn star and Heisman Trophy Winner Bo Jackson.
He plans to visit LSU, Ole Miss, Alabama and take another visit to Auburn in the coming weeks, but won't be one of the players to make an early decision. He plans to take it slow and easy in the recruiting process as long as it remains an enjoyable thing. "I will probably know before signing day but I probably won't say anything unless I get tired of it."