Brylee Callender faces questions after suspension

The future of running back Brylee Callender of Lakeville is up in ths air after he was suspended from the Panthers baseball team for the rest of the season for violating Minnesota State High School League rules. Callender was reportedly charged with comsumption by a minor at his high school prom. The 6-1, 190-pound running back rushed 266 times for 2,132 yards this season and the Gopher football team had been holding a scholarship for him.

Brylee Callender was named to the Minneapolis Star Tribune All-Metro Team, AP All-State and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State team as he led the Panthers to a 14-0 mark and a Prep Bowl championship.

Callender rushed 26 times for 226 yards and two scores in the 34-9 championship game win over Hastings and 22 times for 266 yards with three touchdowns in the semifinals win over Armstrong. Callender finished with 37 rushing touchdowns and three receiving scores this season. He did not play as a junior, due to a Minnesota High School League violation. Callender's sophomore season was cut short by a burst appendix.

However, Callender's path to the Gophers was not a clear one, as he failed to reach a qualifying test score on his first two attempts.

Baseball had become his Plan B after playing on Lakeville's American Legion team last summer and batting .355. He was hitting .429 before the suspension and he had gotten interest from several major league scouts.

Unfortunately, scouts will not be able to see him any more this season with the suspension and he has yet to hear if he has received a passing test score on his recent third try.

Callender had previously admitted that his lack of playing before his breakthrough season hurt his recruitment.

"If I had played as a junior, I would have heard from more schools," he said.

Callender has made big strides in his academics in the past year after previously struggling in the classroom. His friendship with teammate Vinny Flury has reportedly helped Callender on the field and in the classroom as well. Callender took the ACT test for the second time January 31 and visited the Gophers later that day.

"They offered me a full ride. They said that they would put me at a junior college, if I don't qualify," he said.

However, his off-the-field problems could hurt his chance of landing the Gophers' last scholarship.

GoldenSports.Net will continue to follow Callender's recruitment.

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