He wasn’t the name that jumped off the page when The Opening rosters were released, but Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic tight end Grant Calcaterra wasn’t worried about that.
He knew there were a lot of other recruits out there heralded more than he was, but Calcaterra was ready to show what he could do on a national stage.
Guess you could say job well done. Calcaterra was one of eight Oklahoma commits at the event and was the unquestioned breakout star for SoonerSquad17 last weekend in Oregon.
He surprised a lot of people, including himself.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to do as good as I did,” Calcaterra said. “I really outdid myself. I prepared the best way I possibly could. I wanted to make a statement. I know I’ve been a little overlooked and underrated.”
Calcaterra was offered in February, visited OU during the spring and committed to the Sooners in April. Tight ends coach Cale Gundy made Calcaterra a huge priority in the winter, but even after his commitment, there were some whispers about whether or not he was the right tight end.
Those whispers seem to be gone now, following his performances at The Opening that earned him All-Offensive honors from both Student Sports (who runs the event) and Scout.
Calcaterra earned a chance to play with quarterback commit Chris Robison and receiver commit Jalen Reagor. He said it didn’t take long for everything to start to gel.
“It was the team practices after the defensive backs got there,” Calcaterra said. “It was Friday when we knew we could do something special.”
Team Vapor Speed, with eight OU commits and six Alabama commits, won the 7-on-7 portion of the competition. The team went 5-1, including 3-0 on championship Sunday.
“It was pretty special,” he said. “It was kind of cool to be there and get our first championship together. Hopefully, it won’t be our last one.”
The Opening is about as much as recruiting other prospects as anything else. It’s clear who Calcaterra was working on. He said Lancaster (Texas) High Scout 100 receiver Omar Manning was the No. 1 target for OU’s commits.
Remains to be seen if it worked in the end, but Calcaterra said Manning was around the SoonerSquad17 members almost the entire weekend.
That can work the other way, too. Being on a team with six Bama commits and doing as well as he did, Calcaterra said the Tide have shown considerable interest this week.
OU fans have nothing to worry about.
“I’m staying with OU,” Calcaterra said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Calcaterra is hoping The Opening is start of him proving his worth time and time again. Ranked the No. 18 tight end, don’t be surprised to see that number earn a bump up when the next Scout recruiting rankings are released.
Although it’s not set in stone right now, Calcaterra said his intention is to make his official visit Bedlam weekend when Oklahoma State comes to Norman. He reiterated again OU will be his only official visit.null