October 6, 2011

Cauley looking forward to visit

With the early signing period approaching, Alabama is still looking for its first commitment of the 2012 recruiting class, but the Crimson Tide will host one of the top players in the country over the weekend.

Willie Cauley, a 7-foot center out of Olathe, Kan., will make his first trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend for his official visit.

"I'm excited," Cauley said. "I'm looking at the way the people are. It's really hard because it's not basketball season, so you don't know how the people are during basketball, but I just want to see if I get that feel."

The Rivals.com four-star picked this weekend, partly because he knew the Alabama football team will be hosting Vanderbilt in an SEC contest.

"It's Alabama football," Cauley said. "It's the best in the nation. I'm really excited to watch them. I've been watching them on TV, so it will be cool to see them in person."

Even though his future is in basketball, Cauley has been spectacular on the football field this fall. It's not everyday you see a 7-foot wide receiver, but he had over 400 yards and eight touchdowns through his first four games.

"It's going good," Cauley said. "I really didn't know what to expect because I've been playing since I was a fourth-grader, but I had to sit out last year for the transfer rule. I didn't know how good I was going to be. This summer, I went to some camps, and it paid off I guess."

Still, his future is in basketball, and Cauley is getting close to making a decision. He's narrowed his list to four schools, Alabama, Florida, Kansas State and Kentucky.

Alabama: "I love the small-town feel in Tuscaloosa. I love the coaching staff. The coaching staff is great. I had a chance to work out with Trevor (Releford) this summer. I'm excited to go on my visit and spend more time with him."

Florida: "It's almost the same as Alabama. Coach (Anthony) Grant coached with Billy Donovan. At Florida, I love the coaching staff. It's a really nice atmosphere. The guys are great."

Kansas State: "That's just home. It's right down the road. I've played with Will Spradling and Neno Williams, and another guy from our AAU team who's from Lithuania is going there next year, too."

Kentucky: "It's Kentucky. It will be sold out every game no matter when. The coaches are going to push you beyond what you're probably capable of doing. You're going to get better."

Cauley visited Florida a couple weeks ago and is scheduled to visit his other two finalists, Kansas State and Kentucky, later this month. He plans to make a decision by next month, so he can sign during the early signing period.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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