Sam Webb: Tell me how your season went last year?
Caleb Lavey: "You know it was a rough start. At the beginning of the season we lost a few games. Our first game that we ever played a 4A team, we lost to them and we lost to huge rival at the beginning of the season. I think that final loss to the big rival was the last straw. We played Carthage and we lost to them. They beat us and they beat us pretty bad -- and that was the last straw. That was the first time I've lost to Carthage. That was the first time I've ever lost four games in a season in like eight years or so. After that last game, we finally came together. Our defense really turned it up and our quarterback Cody Worrell really changed a lot. We just matured as a team, put it together, and we made a run all the way to state championship and ended up not being able to finish that one out."
Sam Webb: You told me about how your team did collectively but what about you? How did you do individually?
Caleb Lavey: "I ended up getting 200 tackles, 120 solo and 80 assisted. I feel like I've matured quite a bit this season as well. I've been getting faster through each year. I feel as a freshman being on the state runner up team and played on the state championship (team) last year, but I've matured. I've gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. I feel like I've matured as a leader on the defense. At the beginning I'd try to do it all by myself. We started coming together and I've been playing with these guys since I was little, in third grade. They're all like my best friends. We all just really came together and played as a better defense than we ever had and we just made it. We had a tremendous run."
Sam Webb: How does a guy who has parents that are 5'9" and 5'7" grow to be 6'4"?
Caleb Lavey: "I couldn't tell you (laughing). My great grandparents said that my parents didn't put a rock on my head when I was little. I think it is mainly my grandparents and stuff. Well, my mom is actually tall for a girl. I think got most of it from my mom's side of the family."
Sam Webb: So you're 6'4" playing middle linebacker. How does that affect your game?
Caleb Lavey: "I definitely think that it helps me just because I have better vision, I can feel the lineman. I have longer arms and I can bat down passes. I can reach out but it does have it set backs. When lineman wants to cut me, my legs are a little bit longer, a little better target. Definitely the pros outweigh cons."
Sam Webb: Another thing about having long legs is they can obviously make you faster. Your dad says that you're definitely getting faster every single year. What are you running in a 40 at this point?
Caleb Lavey: "My best is a 4.56. I couldn't tell you. I think I ran a 4.75 at the All-American combine, but they had a wired up and it was electronic. Giving us cleats that we hadn't broke in yet and all that."
Sam Webb: A 4.75 electronic is comparable to a high 4.5 low 4.6 hand time, so it's pretty clear you can move. Now that we know your stats and how your season went, tell us about your game. Describe it for folks that haven't seen you play.
Caleb Lavey: "Well, I have a passion to hit. I live for big hits. I played down here and I have a nose for the ball. I get to the ball. The fastest way I can get to the ball, whatever it is, I'll do it. I'll get to the ball, sideline to sideline and downhill… I'll find the ball. I like to play at the highest speed. When the ball is snapped, it's on. I get to the ball as fast as I can and I just want to light the runner up."
Sam Webb: Your dad told me that you hadn't actually talked to Michigan yet and that he had gotten an email saying they wanted to offer. Have you gotten a chance to talk to Michigan yet?
Caleb Lavey: "Yes I have. I talked to Coach Hopson, earlier today. I had a little conversation with him."
Sam Webb: What did he say to you?
Caleb Lavey: "He said I would be a perfect fit for their defense, who all they were recruiting this year, and that they would love to have me up there to help reinstate the old Michigan winning tradition. They are one of the top two winningest colleges in the nation and that would be an honor to be a part of that football program."
Sam Webb: Your dad was saying that besides from Michigan you have offers from a lot of different schools like Notre Dame and Texas A&M. He ran down a list of programs. Have you sort of in your mind established a top group yet?
Caleb Lavey: "No. I'm going to try to go after all of them before I start establishing because I can't take out of the running until I really get an in depth look at it. All of them would be an honor to play there. They are all great schools and they all have to offer me both in the football program and academically."
Sam Webb: I guess you sort of gave me kind of a clue what you are looking for, but let's assume for the sake of argument that you're getting ready to sit down and make your decision, what are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?
Caleb Lavey: "Definitely academically is the first thing that I'm going to look at. I'm getting this opportunity to play football…the opportunity to play football and to get a free academic scholarship. Getting a free education is the first thing that comes to mind. Secondly, the football program where I fit in it. How I fit in the college town and everything. It has got to be a good atmosphere -- where if I do injure myself, it is somewhere that I'll be comfortable with staying and it is a school that I'll love whether I play football or not."
Sam Webb: Your dad told me that you want to make a decision this summer so you can concentrate on your senior season. In the interim do you plan on making it to all the schools on your list or are you going to narrow things down and then visit schools?
Caleb Lavey: "Yes, I'm going to start to narrow things down a little bit. We'll probably sit down sometime and begin to narrow it down. I'm going to try and visit as many as I can before it comes down to that. But definitely I want to make my decision during the summer just so I can focus on the team that I'm still apart of."
Sam Webb: Let's talk specifically about Michigan. Is it fair to say that you grew up a Michigan fan, and if so, what does that mean for the Wolverines in your recruitment? Does that give them somewhat of an advantage there?
Caleb Lavey: "You know what, I actually say it does give them an advantage, just because I still cheer for Michigan when my dad there. Sometimes, I might root against a play or two just to get on his nerves, but I really do care about Michigan. I wouldn't say I grew up there, but I visited there a lot. Some of my family is still from there. My dad's from there. Just the atmosphere of Ann Arbor and being there during the football game, seeing the crowds and fan support and everything. I'd be honored to play for the University of Michigan. I know a lot more about Ann Arbor than a few of the other colleges."
Sam Webb: Talk about your other offers. When and how did they come through?
Caleb Lavey: "The offers are still coming through, every week or so and usually they are through letters that want me to call the coach. A&M was through the junior day and I talked to the coach. I talked to the head coach and usually they are through letters and I will call up the head coach and we'll have a talk and I will talk to the linebacker coach and then they will set me up with the coach that does the recruiting from my area and then I'll develop a relationship with him."
Sam Webb: So you just happened to talk to your recruiting coach and position coach all rolled up into one in Jay Hopson. Did he sort of schedule anything for you to talk to Coach Rodriguez any time soon?
Caleb Lavey: "No sir. We just had a small talk. He just told me that he wants to call me every week and build a relationship with me. I'm sure at some point it will progress to talking with Coach Rodriguez. I am terrific with getting to know Coach Hopson right now."
Sam Webb: Your dad mentioned that you're invited Michigan's junior day is March 13th. Have you thought any more about whether or not you will be able to make it? When well you be able to determine that?
Caleb Lavey: "I'm not sure. It depends on how everything plays out with everything else and the schedule. I definitely do want to. If we don't make it down for junior day we will definitely it down for spring or summer or something. My dad is always wanting me to go to Ann Arbor and now I'll have a real opportunity to check out everything that the school has to offer me. It is pretty exciting, but we don't have it scheduled yet. We'll probably make it down there sometime soon definitely."
Sam Webb: Do you think you are going to camp at any schools this summer?
Caleb Lavey: "Toward the camp season, I'll have it a lot more narrowed down. I'm definitely not going to do combines now that I've been getting offers. Once I narrow my options down a little bit, I'll have the camps that I know that I'll really be interested in going to."Stay tuned for much more on Caleb Lavey in the dys and weeks to come.