McCallister Gets Florida Offer

Sometimes it doesn't matter what kind of freak they are, they just fly under the radar. Such is the plight of defensive end Alex McCallister of Clemmons (NC) West Forsyth. He's tall and fast and has a burst that is hard to find at any position on the football field. Through three weeks in April he had no offers… as of Sunday he has 15 including one from Florida. This guy is about to take off.

At 6-5 and 215 pounds, Alex McCallister sports a 7'2" wing span and has a tenacity about him that really draws the attention of college coaches. His high school coaches understood what kind of player he could be which is why they set out in the last two months to really get him some attention.

After hearing about the young man, Florida linebacker coach D.J. Durkin, who recruits North Carolina, was intrigued and paid him a visit. The contact was first initiated by McCallister himself.

"My coach asked me if there was anyone I wanted him to get into contact with, and I said Florida, McCallister said by phone late Sunday. "Then Coach Durkin came up and saw me and eventually talked to me. He invited me up to the camp on the 17th. That is when I showed out for them."

Showed out he did. Inevitably all of the variables mentioned above and some not mentioned earned him a scholarship offer with the Gators.

But the admiration seems to be very mutual at this point. He has grown really fond of the coaching staff at Florida.

"I love to talk to Coach Durkin and talk to him a lot," he said. "I love Coach Durkin. He's real fun and energetic."

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and assistant defensive line coach Bryant Young spent time coaching up McCallister while he camped at Florida. They left a big impression on him as well.

"Both Coach Quinn and Coach Young, I watched film with both of them, they (showed me) some new technique stuff," he said. "Then they had me go down to the field and they liked what they saw.

"The coaching staff was the best I have ever been involved with. It was a lot more coaching rather than just hounding me to see where I was at, that was a great part. The Gainesville, The Swamp, and all of that was just great."

McCallister left with a smile on his face knowing he has a new weapon or two for football season. The coaches at Florida taught him a trick or two that will make his game better as a senior.

"Verbatim they are great," he kept on about the coaching staff. "They know what they are doing. So many little things they taught… I know when I get back to North Carolina I can kill it with just that little time we had. A couple of techniques they taught me were crazy, they know a lot."

One in particular move he cannot wait to use. The staff called it ‘long-arming'.

"I have a 7'2" wingspan and I can use that on anybody," he said. "The long-arm, lift and reach, it was crazy and I never would have thought of it."

With all of his options he isn't ready to limit the field just yet. But, he already is making some plans to get back to Gainesville.

"I am wide open to everybody," he said. "I am not trying to put anyone on top because my mom and I need to talk.

"I am definitely going to keep in touch with Florida. I know they play Bama at home and that is definitely a game I am going to. I am not sure if it will be official or unofficial yet."

He noted just why Florida stood out enough to know he will be back.

"The staff," he said. "They were great. Of all my visits I felt the most comfortable with the Florida staff."

McCallister noted that there is a time frame to start getting his ducks in a row.

"In the first week in July we are going to narrow things down and figure out if we are going to commit before school starts or not," he said.

Right now he is just pinching himself because things are happening in a good way and very fast.

"I got my first offer on April 20th from NC State," he said. "Before that nobody knew who I was. Now I have 15."

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