Caleb Lavey: His Coach's Take

GoPokes.com interviewed the high school coach for each of the Oklahoma State commitments in the days leading up to National Signing Day. In this installment of "His Coach's Take," we visit with Celina High School offensive coordinator coach Bill Elliott about Caleb Lavey, a 6-3, 215-pound linebacker from Celina, Texas.

What are his strengths as a football player?
Bill Elliott: He's got a great work ethic as far as the weight room and on the field. He plays with a great intensity. He's one of the hardest hitting kids we've ever had come through Celina. He delivers a blow when he delivers a lick.

What do you believe will be his biggest challenge in going from high school to playing in the Big 12?
Bill Elliott: Probably just adjusting to the speed of the game. That's always seems to be the biggest change for a kid going from high school. He was able to dominate because of his size and his speed in high school, so it'll just be that adjustment of the speed level there where everybody is his speed or better than his speed.

Was there one game, or maybe even one play, during his career that you'll always remember?
Bill Elliott: There's one game, the Liberty Hill game, our semifinal game in our 2008 championship season. They had won 30-some games in a row and had won the state championship the two years previous, and had a really good team that season. He prepared himself for that game unbelievably. He studied so much film that week that he knew everything their offense was doing. He pretty much by himself shut their offense down. He made some great plays, great tackles. He put their middle linebacker and their fullback … he sent him to the sideline he hit him so hard a couple of times. He just made a big statement that game that he was going to take charge, and he did.

What are three words that describe him as a football player?
Bill Elliott: Intensity and very aggressive. When he plays, he plays with an incredible amount of intensity and is very aggressive. He's a headhunter.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Bill Elliott: He really liked the coaches. He really developed a pretty good relationship with them during recruiting. He's a country boy and I think he fits in up there in Stillwater. And, of course, (current OSU player) Jamie Blatnick played for us (here in Celina), and I think Jamie had a big influence on getting him up there.

What type of impact to you expect him to have on the OSU football program?
Bill Elliott: I think he'll do great for them just the type of kid he is, the way he works, the dedication he has. He's a very smart kid who does great in the classroom. They expect him to make an impact next year, at least that's what the coaches have told us. That's why they have got him up there right now starting the spring semester. They think he'll make an impact come this fall.

Over the course of his college career, whether it be four or five years, what do you expect him to accomplish?
Bill Elliott: I see him doing great things. If they leave him at middle linebacker he can be a great leader for them and help lead the defense. He'll bring guys along to his level. He does a great job of studying the game and bringing all the players on the defense together with him to accomplish their goals. I know that some schools wanted to move him to tight end because he's great hands and he's a great blocker, so I think he could contribute there too.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Bill Elliott: I think the impact he had on my kids. I've got two young boys who have grown up here in Celina, and both of them play football. They both look to Caleb as a hero. He's done a great job of always talking to them. He calls my oldest son, who is in junior high, all the time, and sends him text messages, and encourages him. They love Caleb. It's neat the type of person he is and how he relates to them. It's really special.

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