Bull Market For McCallister Stock at KU Camp

No matter the position, one-on-one competitions are the highlight of almost any football camp.

Coaches love them and players may love them even more, because those moments – when all eyes are focused on just a pair of prospects – are when the biggest impressions can be made.

Late in the evening Friday night, a pair of the most talented offensive and defensive line recruits in the State of Kansas were doing battle under the lights at Memorial Stadium, and turning heads in the process.

The event: University of Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill's first "Friday Night Lights" skills camp.

The drill: A fairly typical pass-rushing contest. A towel, representing the quarterback, was placed five yards behind a pair of giants – one o-lineman and one d-lineman.

When Jayhawks offensive line coach J.B. Grimes blew his whistle, the defensive lineman tried to get to the towel. The offensive lineman tried to stop him.

The combatants: Jordon McCallister, a 6-foot-2, 304 pound center/guard from Junction City (KS) High School, and Jordan Phillips, a 6-foot-6, 290 pound defensive tackle from Towanda (KS) Circle High School.

McCallister knew who Phillips was. Heck, everyone in attendance knew who Phillips was, as he has received a fair share of publicity as arguably the most talented high school football prospect in the State of Kansas, second perhaps only to Gardner Edgerton (KS) High School quarterback Bubba Starling.

The combatants settled into their stances. The whistle blew and, as expected, the ultra-athletic Phillips burst off the line of scrimmage in the blink of an eye, surging to his right before attempting a swim move left.

But McCallister shadowed the taller player every step of the way, using superior leverage to get underneath Phillips and fight him off, stonewalling him until the whistle blew again – to the appreciative cheers of Grimes.

The two would battle a number of times during the one-on-one portion of the evening. Phillips won some, of course, but McCallister claimed his fair share as well.

All in all, the Junction City product was happy with his camp performance.

"I just moved my feet, did everything I was taught to do and just did my job as an offensive lineman," McCallister said. "He's a very good defensive lineman and I look forward to going against him again."

Recruiting is starting to pick up for the talented interior line prospect, who wears a blonde mohawk and bears the attitude on the field to match. Though no official offers have come down the pipe, Kansas, Kansas State and Michigan State – among others – are keeping a close eye on him.

In fact, McCallister will attend a team camp in East Lansing, Mich. in the coming weeks, where the Spartan coaches have told him they will have the chance to see if he looks as good in person as he does on film – possibly earning that first Division One scholarship offer.

Right now, however, the Jayhawks and Wildcats stand neck-and-neck at the top with him, as he would prefer to stay closer to home if given the opportunity.

"I'd like to stay close," McCallister said. "I live in Junction City, so it's pretty close to where they're at. And just the atmosphere. I've been around it since I was young, so I'd just kind of like to try and stay close."

Here's what Scout.com Midlands Recruiting Manager Greg Powers had to say about McCallister's performance Friday night:

"McCallister was not an unknown commodity coming in to the camp, as he already held a couple of offers, but I certainly did not expect to see him manhandle defensive linemen the way he did. He does not have the ideal size, but he plays with a lot of passion. He got a lot of close instruction from the staff and got a lot of work in at center, a position that may suit him well moving forward in to college. He had some nice match-ups with Jordan Phillips, who is rated as the top prospect in the state, and more than held his own."

Phog.net Top Stories