ND Is In The Mix With Caper

Larry Caper had to snap a photo of the Golden Dome. The Battle Creek (Mich.) Central running back enjoyed the players walk from the Basilica to Notre Dame Stadium following Saturday morning's mass. Despite the rout, Caper had a good time at the Irish-USC game, and the Scout.com 2009 top-100 prospect would like to make a return trip to campus this summer.

Based off the recent attention Corwin Brown has been showing Larry Caper, the Notre Dame assistant coach feels the same way.

Caper's father, Larry Sr., a former running back at Western Michigan, said that Brown checks in by phone every other week. Brown is the son in law of a coach the elder Caper played for during his time in college.

Brown has also been by the school to pick up transcripts and film of Caper, and Battle Creek Central head coach Al Slamer recently received an email from Brown.

"He just wanted to know the status of where Larry is," Slamer said. Caper already holds scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, Iowa and Western Michigan.

"They said they are very interested," Slamer continued. "I don't know what that means. Not as interested as some other schools that have already offered. I guess it all goes off the type of needs you have. That's the interesting thing with football recruiting. Five different schools could look at one guy and see different things.

"But with Coach Brown personally coming by the school to pick up transcripts and tape, and he wanted to not only touch base with Larry, but see where he comes from, that generally shows a lot of interest in a young man."

The interest is mutual, and early in the recruiting process, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Caper said he doesn't have any favorites.

"It's a good school for athletics, and its probably an even better school for academics, and that's a good thing," Caper said. He reported a 3.8 GPA.

"The first thing that popped out to me was the walk from the church," Caper said. "I liked how the team walked together and the fans were on the same level as the team. It was a family atmosphere.

"I liked the academic facilities, and I liked the athletic facilities too. That was the first thing they showed us. The weight room was nice. I liked how they have the turf field behind the weight room.

"The Golden Dome was nice. I took a picture. The stadium was a real nice atmosphere. I sat next to the student section for the whole game so it was loud. At the beginning of the game it was really loud.

"I'd be interested in Notre Dame. I like the offense they run, and while you're there, you get a great education."

Michigan was the first program to offer Caper. Western Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford and Iowa followed suit.

"I didn't want to get to big headed, but when my first offer came in from Michigan, that was the most exciting because it was the first one. All of these emotions were going through my head. As the others have been coming in, it's been easier, I've taken more of a business mentality. Now it's like, this is a school I can go to, this is a school I can go to."

Boston College, Penn State and Wisconsin have also been expressing a lot of interest.

This past fall, Caper rushed for roughly 1,473 yards on 160 carries, with 14 touchdowns.

"First thing, Larry is a great package of strength and speed," Slamer said. "He has great vision. The thing he has, he's a great blend of speed and power. Excellent hands, catches the ball well. From the standpoint of being a threat and catching the ball, he can. He's a real student of the game. He takes time to learn his opponent. Has a tremendous work ethic. He is willing to go above and beyond to train and make himself better."

Slamer said that Caper can play defense as well. He started at safety as a freshman and sophomore, but a tender shoulder this season relegated him to just offense.

Caper also said he had great times on unofficial visits to Michigan and Michigan State this season. Last week, he made the trip to San Antonio, Texas for the U.S. Army National Combine. Caper clocked a 4.5 second 40-yard dash, and a 4.23 in the shuttle.

"I think I did pretty well," he said. "In the one-on-ones, I dropped two passes I think I should've had."

Caper wants to go to an upcoming Nike Combine, and would also like to camp at Notre Dame and Wisconsin this summer.

"I'll go to Notre Dame before I go to Wisconsin," Caper stated.

As far as a college decision goes, Caper has set no time table.

"I want to make a decision early, but I want to see how everything unfolds," Caper explained. "I'm looking for a place where first of all I feel comfortable. I'll be there for four years away from home. After that academics, and then athletics."

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