Harper's one bright prospect

He may not have been the greatest prospect attending the recent University of Tennessee senior football camp, but he was probably the brightest. That's why he already holds scholarship offers from Stanford and Bucknell.

Caleb Harper was even more impressive in the classroom than he was on the field at Murfreesboro's Siegel High School in 2006. Harper, a 5-11, 176-pounder, posted a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and scored a 31 on his ACT.

He can play some football, too. Harper recorded six interceptions as a cornerback last fall for Siegel High, which went 2-8 in just its fourth year of existence. He also saw time as a running back, receiver, kick returner and punt returner en route to earning All-Region 4, Class 5A recognition.

Asked which college programs he likes, Harper replied, "Right now it's Tennessee, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Stanford."

Although he probably could play offense at the collegiate level, Harper believes his best bet is in the secondary.

"My preference is corner," he said. "I like corner because it's basically one on one between you and the receiver – a chance to compete with somebody else."

Harper says his greatest attribute is "one-on-one coverage," adding that Siegel head coach David Watson took full advantage of this last fall.

"I was usually locked up on the opponents' best receiver," Harper recalled.

After describing Tennessee's camp as "pretty cool," the Murfreesboro native added: "We had some nice drills. I like how the coaches push you. They seemed to be into it, and that got you excited about the camp."

Of his performance at the camp, Harper said, "I didn't get as many reps as I would've liked but I feel like I did pretty good."

Although he was clocked at 4.65 in the 40-yard dash at UT's camp, Harper said he has run 4.52 on his high school track.

Before visiting Knoxville, he previously attended camps at Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. He's planning to attend camps at Alabama, Stanford and Georgia Tech later this summer.

Considering Harper's 4.0 classroom average, it's no surprise that he wants to find a school that will help him to excel academically, as well as athletically.

"I'm looking for a lot of different things – good football program, academics, of course, and a bunch of other factors," he said.

Although he has grown up in Tennessee, Harper says playing for the Vols wouldn't be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

"Not necessarily," he said. "I like to keep my options open."

Harper played basketball until his sophomore year of high school, then quit to focus on football. His hobbies include music and movies. His favorite film, he said, is "Waist Deep."

If he performs as impressively on the field this year as he did in the class room last year, Caleb Harper soon may find himself "waist deep" in college recruiters.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories