Most high school freshmen are just hoping to survive and establish themselves walking the halls of a new school. Caleb Kinlaw isn't most freshmen. The Goose Creek prospect has burst onto the scene as one of the state's top prospects in the 2014 class. That's just part of the reason Kinlaw is the latest player to be featured in SCPrepNation.com's "UP NEXT" series.
Goose Creek is home to one of the state's most powerful football programs with a talent laden roster that continuously brings college coaches to the school. With such a talented squad it's hard to fathom a freshman picking up significant playing time but running back Caleb Kinlaw did just that.
"Last season I had 39 carries for 529 yards and 4 touchdowns," Kinlaw told us.
Playing in the AAAA classification Kinlaw and the Gators saw plenty of tough competition and he talked about his best game as well as his toughest opponent last season.
"My best game would be against Easley in the 2nd round of the playoffs. I had 4 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns."
"The toughest player I've faced would probably be Gerald Dixon from Northwestern High. He was really strong. Out of the 6 carries I had that game, he tackled me on at least half of them. He was harassing me all night. It was hard to block him."
Dixon committed to South Carolina and the Gamecocks apparently like Kinlaw as well along with other schools.
Spring practice has been underway for a while and Kinlaw says other schools have been by Goose Creek to take a look at him along with some of his teammates.
We asked Kinlaw what he thought his biggest strengths were currently and he responded, "My biggest strengths right now would probably be my knowledge of the game and my combination of speed and power. Speed more than power though."
"I plan on building strength in my legs, mainly my knees, because I've had knee injuries and I want to avoid those kinds of injuries again."
Kinlaw attended the Badger Sport South Showcase and was one of the top prospects emerging from the event. The coaching staff and analysts there all raved about his abilities and potential.
The 2014 prospect is looking forward to his sophomore season and he talked about that, what he'll be doing this off season.
"Next season I want win the state championship. We have the team to do it, its just how well we cooperate and play. My personal goal is to rush for at least 1,500 yards this season."
"I'm look forward to playing University High School out of Florida, because this will be my first time playing against a team out of state."
"This off season I plan on going to the USC showcase camp, the NUC Top 100 camp, and maybe an Under Armour combine."
Kinlaw already has an idea of what he'll be looking at when considering possible college destinations and he talked in depth about it.
"When looking at colleges, my deciding factors will be based upon their graduation rates, if they have my major, their atmosphere/environment, if i can start my freshman year or get significant playing time and then start my sophmore year, how far from home they are (trying to stay around the east coast), facilities, and their winning consistency."
Being a winner in all areas is something that Kinlaw takes pride in as he's achieved success already in the class room early on. He shared some of his triumphs in the academic arena for us.
"I took the PSAT and got a 990. That was my 8th grade year when I took it and I was recognized as a South Carolina Junior Scholar. I'm going to start taking the SAT this year. Right now I've got a 3.275 GPA."
SCPrepNation.com will continue to bring you updates about Caleb Kinlaw as he projects as one of the top 2014 prospects in the southeast region already so check back with us. For now though check out some fun facts and weight room testing numbers with Caleb Kinlaw below.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS..>CALEB KINLAW
Bench press: 230 pounds
Squat: 340 pounds
Power Clean: 235 pounds
40 time: 4.47 seconds
Shuttle: 4.39 seconds
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL...CALEB KINLAW
Favorite food: Don't really have one, maybe lasagna and pasta dishes
Favorite subject: Math and biology
Favorite activity other than football: I like to build stuff, listen to music or just play games.
Favorite music artists: J. Cole, Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Wale, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, and Big Sean
Dream college: probably either Virginia Tech or Oregon