Rosemont, Pa. - One would tend to think you might be crazy if you thought a kid from Pennsylvania was offered scholarships by four different Top 10 programs and has eight offers overall and the two Pennsylvania big boys, Penn State and Pittsburgh, haven't shown much interest at all. The city of Philadelphia does not field many AA schools but Harriton High School is one of them. Harold Smith coaches Harriton and he just so happens to coach one of the most sought after lineman in the country.
Callahan Bright is a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive and defensive lineman who runs an astonishing 4.9 40-yard dash. Bright is not outdone by many in the weight room either with his 375-pound bench press or gaudy 650 squat. He also carries a 2.8 GPA.
Bright transferred to Harriton in the fall of 2003; he had attended Glen Mills high school. Bright played at Glen Mills with Christian Fleming of Erie Strong Vincent.
"I enjoyed the attention I got at Glen Mills, everyone thinks you are a juvenile delinquent if you go there, but that is not always the case,"
Bright has offers from Wisconsin. His favorite team growing up was Miami, so does that give them an edge?
"My brother Gene, who plays for Purdue, helps me a lot, when he was recruited he only took two visits and he has advised me to take all of mine and to be totally comfortable with my choice. All of my offers are from good programs, and it's just to early. I would like to play in warm weather though."
The question on many Pennsylvania fans' minds is how does a kid like this slip under the radar screen of so many?
"Harriton is a very small school, my brother was the first D-I recruit from there," Bright said. "I guess when people were watching him they knew he had a younger brother so they kept an eye on me."
Bright is a bull on the offensive and defensive lines, but if he has his way fans may seem him line up in the backfield at times.
"I remember the Fridge, and I keep telling coach to let me try it," he said. "I always call the (quarterback), (running back), and (wide receiver) positions glamour boys, but I think it would be neat to try."
Obviously the fridge name is taken so Bright will have to have his own identity.
"I have a nickname, my teammates and I were lifting and I was blowing up the squat rack, and they started calling me T-Rex, but I didn't like the T part so now it's just Rex," he said.
Bright and his brother Gene are very close; they have wondered what it would be like to play with one another. As of now, however, Bright feels that he should go his own way and make his own name in the college football world. He is quick to point out though that right now grades and school have his undivided attention, and the football stuff will take care of itself.
Bright stays active all year round. Besides football, he plays Lacrosse, throws the shot put on the track and field team, and he was once active in power lifting and aspires to get back involved in the sport. To top it off he also wrestles at 320 pounds. He tried to make the 275-pound weight limit but kept getting sick, so his doctors advised him against it. He does, however, wrestle in the unlimited division at several free style tournaments, as a matter of fact Bright will be participating in one this coming weekend.
With his ability and size, Bright sticks out like a sore thumb, and now with the added pressure of being chased by the who's who of college football, does he feel like there is a target on his back?
"I felt like that before all this, I am constantly getting double teamed by everyone," Bright said. "It just makes me work that much harder. When I did wrestle I was ranked 2nd in the state at Glen Mills, everyone wanted a piece of me, so I have faced adversity, but I have learned to set the small stuff aside and take things day by day."
Despite his offers and ability, most know nothing about Callahan Bright. How does he describe his abilities?
"I try and be more aggressive then the next guy, more physical than my opponent, I am very fast and quick for my size," he said. "I think I am very sound fundamentally."
Does going unnoticed for so long tend to make you play with a chip on your shoulder?
"Not really, most schools just tell me they never thought they'd find a player like me at a school like Harriton," Bright said. "I saw my brother play at Purdue and they had a guy, everyone called him 'The Sack Master', Shaun Phillips, that's what I want to be like, I want to make a name for myself."
So is Purdue's Shaun Phillips someone you look at and try to pattern your game from?
"I just liked how they called him that," Bright said. "My favorite player is Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is so quick and he dominates."
Bright is planning on flying to Miami April 1 for a Nike combine and will also camp at Texas A&M. He had 15 sacks last season for Harriton. With the offers he has already received he definitely is one to keep an eye on this coming season.