Caldwell is on a flight today, coming to Los Angeles to attend UCLA's one-day camp on Saturday. He's been offered a scholarship by UCLA, and is one of the top defensive line targets for the Bruins in the early recruiting season.
Caldwell said he doesn't have one favorite school at this point, and emphasized that he was "open to everything," but if he had to pick five, he said, "UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska and ASU."
Caldwell attended ASU's one-day camp last weekend, which he said was "good." He also has some connections to ASU, since his father, Brian Caldwell, was an all Pac-10 defensive end for the Sun Devils. "I'm getting a little pressure to go to ASU," Caldwell said. "Not from my dad, but from people around here. Mostly they're just joking about it."
Caldwell said he also has some ties to California. "My dad's from Huntington Beach," he said. So, the natural question is – Does he surf? "Yeah, he's a big surfer. So am I. I've been surfing since I was eight." And then the next natural question: How do you surf in Arizona? Laughing, Caldwell said, "Just about every summer growing up my dad and I would take surfing trips. We've gone to Mexico and Hawaii, but mostly to California. I haven't had much time in the last couple of summers to go on a surfing trip, though, because football takes up so much time."
Caldwell said that he believes surfing has helped him as a football player. "I think it's given me an advantage, growing up surfing. For one thing, I think it's helped my balance a lot. I think it's helped with my feet overall. And then, with surfing, it's like meditation, the state of happiness you have out there in the water. It carries over into other things."
While he's in town with his father this weekend, Caldwell said he doesn't have any plans to go surfing, but they might be changed. "I'm going to be staying in Santa Monica, so the beach is right there. I don't know, I probably won't be able to resist."
Would the lure of SoCal beaches help UCLA's recruiting chances? "Yeah, sure, maybe. I haven't talked to UCLA about certain surf spots yet, though."
Caldwell said that he doesn't have a particular preference for a location of a college. "I'll go anywhere. What means something to me is that the place has a great atmosphere. It's where I'd want to live for four years. I'm also looking for a winning tradition, and a sense of family in the program."
Caldwell said he maintains a 3.0 GPA and just took the SAT for the first time in June.