They say it’s not the final destination that matters, but rather the journey. If you ask Caleb Smith or his parent’s, they’d tell you differently. For Smith, a 6’6” 250lb. TE from Kentridge High School in Washington, the whole point of his recruiting journey was to find his destination. And on Saturday, he found just that in Corvallis, Oregon with the OSU Beavers. The 2nd high profile recruit to commit to OSU in as many months, Smith gave Head Coach Mike Riley his pledge over the phone while his family watched on. “This is one of the happiest days of my life” said Smith. “It’s been a long process and I’ve met great coaches and people along the way. OSU just felt like home and I’m looking forward to going there and being part of something special.”
Special is a word many use to describe Caleb Smith’s talents. Already an NFL sized body, Caleb runs routes and catches the ball like a pure receiver. With OSU graduating pre season All-American TE Joe Halahuni, Caleb’s commitment is just what the doctor ordered for the Beavs. With all the new era offenses such as the pistol and spread option attacks, Caleb was drawn to Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf’s pro style system. “I wanted to play in an offense that featured their TE and uses him in creative ways. If you look at their recent history, guys like Tim Euhus, Joe Newton, and now Joe (Halahuni) have had great careers as well as opportunities to play at the next level.”
As talented of a TE as Smith is, he’s got an even bigger upside. Caleb is still rough around the edges as a blocker, and for good reason. Up until the 6th game of last year, he was the team’s QB. His last 5 games he was moved to and started at TE, and hasn’t looked back since. If Caleb had been a stock on Wall Street, anyone owning it from the end of last season to now could retire early. January saw him travel to and attend the Army All-American Combine in Texas where he went from flying under the radar to covering the whole screen. Within 5 months he had over 10 offers from most of the Pac 12 programs and even schools as far away as Purdue.
After getting back from his trip to the summer camps of Colorado and UCLA, Caleb’s whirlwind off season was over. He finally had time to let everything soak in and also talk with his family. “I didn’t have a timetable for making a decision. I had a lot of great opportunities and wanted to do as much research as I could. I knew when it was the right time, I’d just feel it. I’m happy with my decision.” The feeling is contagious, as Mike Riley, his staff, the program, and all of Beaver Nation are happy to have Caleb Smith wearing Orange and Black.