Athlete Joel Caleb was the best recruit to sign with Virginia Tech as a part of the 2012 class according to the 247sports Composite rankings system.
Wide receiver Joel Caleb
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound athlete from Clover Hill High School in Midlothian was a consensus top 5 player in the state of Virginia and was coveted by power programs all over the country, from LSU to Florida State to Ohio State. A season-ending injury his senior year did not slow down the interest from the over 30 programs that tendered him offers.
Even though he played quarterback in high school, Caleb was mostly recruited as a wide receiver or a safety and has started his Virginia Tech career on the offensive side of the ball. Being a true freshman, it is already hard enough to earn playing time.
Add the fact that he is coming off a season ending injury, adjusting to a new position and playing a spot that has three established seniors that were guaranteed to be ahead of him coming in, the odds of seeing playing time this fall were stacked against Caleb.
He has worked hard and impressed the coaches enough so far in practices and a few scrimmages that they have yet to decide whether or not to redshirt him.
Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring spoke to VTScoop about Caleb and how he’s been progressing through his first fall camp, whether or not a decision has been made on playing him this season and the adjustment period that he’s had to go through.
“You know right now we haven’t made a decision as to whether he is going to travel yet or not. I think we (the coaches) have our own individual opinions about him and have addressed them somewhat in meetings. After we’ve seen the film (of the scrimmage) and we’ve been through it, we hope to have more of an answer or a definite answer but I really like what he’s about.
“Joel, a lot of people don’t really understand the major adjustment. There is a major adjustment from the high school to the collegiate level and going to play major college football in a top 20 program. That takes a tremendous adjustment. He has to coincide that adjustment with the fact that he is adjusting to becoming a receiver. He didn’t play receiver in high school. So right there is two elements that he is having to hurdle himself past. It’s the process that he is going through. You see the ability. You know the ability. He’s made a couple of plays in practice and earlier I think he was playing with his mind tying up his feet. He hasn’t really been able to turn it loose. Today he is a bit closer, tomorrow we’re hoping he’s even further along.”