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Seattle running back Caleb Perry tells CF.C the story behind the Washington State offer; also excels in track

WASHINGTON STATE may have found its 2017 class running back in Seattle. The Cougs offered fleet-footed Caleb Perry out of King’s High on Wednesday night. The two-sport star is leaving today for an official visit to Missouri but before hopping on the plane, he talked at length with CF.C about how the Wazzu offer came about, where recruiting stands for him and why he’s already very familiar with WSU and its players.

King’s is a 1A school and Power 5 football recruiters with concerns about the competition level don’t always come knocking the door down. But speed is still speed, and running back skills and attributes like Perry’s still show up on tape.

“Coach (Eric) Mele has complimented me on my explosiveness and speed,” said Perry (5-9, 175).  “And that was something that with a lot coaches, it caught their attention, my speed and also my change of direction.

"Some colleges thought I might be a little on the small side but when they actually opened up the film, they all said they were surprised in how fast I was able to get downhill.”



Perry’s sister attends WSU, and he’s been over to Pullman a number of times already.  He’ll be out on the Palouse again, for an official visit this time, the weekend of Jan. 13.

“I’ve actually hung out with all the players,” said Perry.  “And I’ve built a relationship with a lot of the Samoan players, like Shalom (Luani) and Daniel (Ekuale) and Robert (Barber).”

THINGS STARTED HEATING up between Perry and WSU back in October.  Mele (the area recruiter and pictured above with Perry on Wednesday night) later invited Perry to take an unofficial visit for the WSU-Cal game, and the relationship accelerated further. 

The Cougars like Perry at running back.  And they also like him on special teams.

“Coach Mele said it was a busy time but that he’d keep in touch,” said Perry.  “And he kept his word, he kept in touch with me. (Return skills) was actually why he first recruited me and then once he got the film over to the running backs coach (Jim Mastro) I guess he kinda fell in love with me too. Mele said he definitely sees me as one of the kickoff returners and punt returners.”

Because he was leaving Thursday for the official to Mizzou, Mele came over for dinner and the in-home on Wednesday night. Perry wasn’t expecting the WSU offer, but he and his family were thrilled to get it.

“We started eating dinner and he just laid it on me,” laughed Perry, who talked at length about the positives that would be associated with playing Pac-12 football for the in-state school.

Perry holds offers from WSU, Missouri, Cincinnati, Portland State and Montana State.  Both Oregon and Oregon State are also showing increasing interest and talking to Perry and his prep coach.

After he returns from Mizzou, Washington State next week will come by for a second in-home visit, Perry said. Perry then will hop on a plane and officially visit Cincinnati. He plans on making his final decision sometime in January.

“I’m going to make sure I travel to all the schools … I think I’ll most definitely be able to make my decision sometime by late January,” said Perry.

RELATED STORY: How this weekend's official visits are shaping up

NOTABLE NOTES:
* Complete stats were unavailable but Perry was used as both running back and receiver this season by King's. Although his number of carries was less than most of the top backs, he still finished the the regular season in the state’s top 5 in rushing according to the Seattle Times and averaged 11.8 ypc.

* Perry won the Class 1A 100 meters title back in May at the state track and field championships. His personal best in the 100 is a 10.76 according to athletic.net.


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