Grady tailback Marcus Caffey joined GPB’s Sports Central XL Tuesday for the first show of 2011 to discuss his recent de-commitment from Purdue and subsequent pledge to the University of Kentucky. Caffey was a standout running back for Grady last season despite playing in the shadow of teammate Damian Swann, a highly sought after receiver/defensive back, though at times Caffey outplayed the higher-rated Swann. In the GPB Game of the Week October 22 against St. Pius, Caffey took a first half draw over 70 yards to the house for the game’s lone touchdown in a 7-6 Grady win.
Despite the success though both Georgia and Georgia Tech were slow to show interest in Caffey, forcing him to look outside the state. “I never though about it (a perceived slight by the Dawgs and Tech),” Caffey said in the interview. “I was in a good situation at my school, so I didn’t think about it.” Purdue, Kentucky and several other schools were showing Caffey enough interest for him not to think about the two local options, Kentucky in particular.
“I’ve been talking to Kentucky since my junior year,” admitted Caffey. He would go on to say that Kentucky’s head coach Joker Phillips is also a big reason for his recent de-commitment from Purdue and commitment to the Kentucky Wildcats. “I like Coach Phillips. I feel really comfortable with him. He’s laid back.”
Phillips was only one of the reasons though that Caffey pulled the switch to UK. The draw of playing in the SEC was a big factor as well said Caffey. “My parents can go to the games,” was a reason that Caffey said helped influence his decision. Also coming into play was the Kentucky roster dotted with Georgia players. “They already have plenty of Georgia talent. I like going to a place that has so many (Georgia natives).”
With the pledge of Caffey as well as the recent commitment of Whitewater (GA) back Josh Clemons and last year’s running back signee Raymond Sanders of Stephenson (GA) High School, Kentucky will boast a loaded Georgia backfield. The competition doesn’t scare Caffey though as he feels Kentucky will be a great program in the next few years. “We will run more aggressively. Raymond, Josh and myself all run a bit differently.”
But what was the reason for Caffey’s switch? Purdue was “a great atmosphere,” Caffey conceded but Kentucky just knocked his socks off on a visit. “I went to the Cat Center (student learning center) and they took me through a day in the life of a student. It was fun.” He did have some nice things to say about Purdue such as how nice the campus was and how friendly the people were, but the weather was a bit much for the Georgia native.
Caffey revealed he is happy that the recruiting process is nearly done. “I like the attention and the interviews, but sometimes it is too much.” He also said he felt that recruiting is biased towards a group of players identified early and sometimes players get left behind that are just as talented.
Once National Signing Day hits, Caffey will get his playbook and he’ll spend the summer learning the offense. “I’ll need to get ready to take those SEC hits and get back up,” said Caffey. While he may think he needs to gear up for the hits, he is certainly ready for the speed and he’ll bring his own speed to the fastest conference in the land.