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Friday, February 22, 2013
OKPreps 14 for '14: ATH Kai Callins

By Bob Przybylo

Is the Class of 2014 crop of in-state talent the best Oklahoma has seen since 2006? With six recruits in the ESPN Watch List, it’s shaping up to be a busy recruiting year in the Sooner State. For the next three weeks, SoonerNation is going to profile the OKPreps’ 14 for ’14: a look at some of the top names and where they stand with OU.

ATH Kai Callins (Guthrie, Okla./Guthrie, 5-10, 175)
2012 stats (1 game): Four rushes for 96 yards, two touchdowns; one reception for 15 yards, one TD.

Kai Callins
Class of 2014 athlete Kai Callins wants to play running back in college.
All Callins has to do is look at ESPN 300 athlete Stanvon Taylor. Not just for inspiration but for knowing good things still can happen.

When Taylor was a junior at Tulsa (Okla.) East Central, he broke his ankle in the first game of the season and didn’t play the rest of the year.

Callins’ junior season was cut short in almost the exact same way when he tore his ACL in the first game, eliminating what should have been promising season to help garner him more accolades on the recruiting trail.

Taylor bounced back and signed with Oklahoma. Callins would love the opportunity to do the same.

“I talk to Stanvon about once a week,” Callins said. “He told me to just keep my head up. Don’t get discouraged and to realize all the dreams I have can still come true.”

That has been Callins’ attitude. He has developed a solid relationship with OU receivers coach Jay Norvell although it is highly unlikely he will be a receiver at the next level.

After making several unofficial visits to OU, though, the communication has sort of tailed between the Sooners and Callins recently. Callins is not alarmed by it, saying he has to prove he is good to go again and prove to OU it should look his way again.

Other schools don’t need to have that proof as Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Ohio are still heavily involved. Callins was at OSU’s junior day last weekend and intends to be at ASU’s event this weekend.

“I don’t feel cheated at all,” Callins said. “I’m perfectly fine with it. I’ve been able to build up my upper body muscle. I’ve seen it as a blessing in disguise.”

The upper body muscle is an indicator of where Callins hopes to be for college. He can be a receiver or defensive back, but his heart is at running back. When he went to the Nike camp in Dallas last March, he realized how small his upper body was compared to some of the other backs, most notably Alabama signee RB Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock).

Callins said Ohio and ASU both want him at running back, while he also spent his junior day at OSU with the running backs.

But first he has to get back on the field. Callins said he has one more month of rehab before he will officially be good to go.

“It was stressful at first seeing my team and not being able to be on the field with them,” Callins said. “I’m dealing with it better now. I’m not rushing myself. I’m going to make sure I’m recovered, and then I’m going to show everybody what I can do again.”