Caleb Bluiett said he's used to the looks and the comments.
As a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder, Bluiett often plays outfield for Beaumont West Brook, leading to the interesting sight of the biggest player on the field running down fly balls before they get to the gaps.
"People say that they don't often see a guy my size, a defensive end, playing baseball and being one of the fastest guys out there," Bluiett said, laughing. "I just tell them that I'm not normal."
It's that lack of normalcy that drew Texas to the West Brook product. On the gridiron, Bluiett played everything from defensive tackle to defensive end to middle linebacker. And while he's expected to focus on defensive end once he hits the 40 Acres, he might have a second position there, too.
"My defensive coaches have told me they want me on the defensive side," Bluiett said. "But the offensive coaches have said they want me to be able to go in at some times and play tight end and make an impact."
Bluiett upped his weight to about 250 pounds before dropping five pounds during baseball season. And while he's helping West Brook to the playoffs in baseball, he said he's also working out extra to stay in football shape for when he arrives in Austin on June 3.
"Before I get up there, I know that they have bigger guys there, so one thing is to add strength," Bluiett said. "But I'm really working on staying focused. I want to stay focused during my workouts. And when I'm in school, I want to stay focused on school. You need to get your mind focused to what you need to do."
When last we saw Bluiett on the football field, he was representing Team USA in the International Bowl.
"I thought it was a great experience," Bluiett said. "Being able to represent my country, the city of Beaumont and Beaumont West Brook in that game, I really enjoyed it."
Bluiett said he especially enjoyed being able to bond with his future Longhorn teammates who participated in the game. And Bluiett earned rave reviews from Round Rock Stony Point coach Craig Chessher for his ability to learn and improve on a rep-by-rep basis. It was especially impressive in that Bluiett played in the game as a defensive end, after spending the whole season at middle linebacker for West Brook.
"I love to learn the game of football, and I love to practice," Bluiett said. "I wanted to do my best for coach and get feedback. I tried to learn something new a lot of different things.
"It went really well, but I think part of it is that Coach Chessher was such a great coach," Bluiett said. "There were a lot of things I learned at West Brook, so some of it was a refresher. But it was a great opportunity."
Bluiett earned district defensive MVP honors as a senior after making 74 tackles, including eight tackles for loss. And with his size and 4.6-second speed, it makes sense that he could transition down to become a pass-rushing defensive end at the next level.
Bluiett made it to Austin for the spring game, and said he found himself watching his future position mates.
"I watched the ends a lot, but I was also focused on the team as a whole, and what I saw was a whole team working together and getting ready to win," Bluiett said. "I'm getting ready for next year. I cant wait to get there and win a national championship."