Oregon Visits Pine Tree to Check Out Quarterback Caleb Chumley
LONGVIEW — Caleb Chumley doesn’t have a ton of quarterbacking experience, but the little he gained in 2012 has colleges pursuing the rangy, athletic signal caller.
Oregon was the latest school to show interest in the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Chumley. Ducks tight ends coach Tom Osborne made the trip to Longview on Tuesday to watch Chumley during the Pirates’ athletic period. Pine Tree is not holding spring football drills.
Pine Tree coach Derek Fitzhenry said Osborne told him that he made the trip to Texas specifically to see Chumley and learn more about his abilities. Oregon is looking at Chumley at quarterback and receiver. Chumley holds four offers to date: Memphis, North Texas, Oregon State, and Texas State.
Fitzhenry said the Ducks like Chumley.
“They’re really impressed with his speed. They really have liked the way he runs and the fact that he’s such a big, tall, rangy athlete,” Fitzhenry said. “They like the fact that he can run, and they like the way he throws.
“(Osborne) said, ‘We don’t go see many guys. We’re very selective about who we go to see.’ They’re looking for guys to win them a national championship, not just signing guys. They don’t just sign guys. They’re gonna be honest with him and say, ‘This is what we would be bringing you in for.’ If he changes (positions), he changes, but they’re gonna be honest what they’re looking at.”
If anything is holding Chumley back in his recruitment, it’s experience at quarterback. He ran the Pirates’ offense in three games last season and accumulated about 1,200 total yards of offense and 13 total touchdowns. The little film college coaches have seen of Chumley has them more than interested.
“He’s an enigma. He’s an unknown. They wanna watch. They wanna see what he’s gonna develop into and what he would be best at in college,” Fitzhenry said. “They (Oregon) do believe he is a Division I athlete. They’re looking to see what he’s gonna play. Is it receiver or is it quarterback?”
Fitzhenry believes the answer is quarterback.
“He’s just got so many tools at quarterback. He’s got a great arm. There’s a lot of guys that throw hard, but he’s accurate,” he said. “For him to be where he’s at right now and only played quarterback a half a year, that just tells you what kind of potential he has at quarterback. Now we’re starting to do the mental part of quarterback and he is really learning fast. He picks it up easily. His reads and his checkdowns, he’s doing a great job with that stuff.”
That’s a good sign for the Pine Tree offense considering Fitzhenry and company are going full-time to the spread.
Fitzhenry, who is typically a run-heavy flexbone proponent, said with Chumley and classmate Dalvin Manns — another capable quarterback, according to Fitzhenry — the spread makes the most sense.
“I could see Caleb coming along last year, his sophomore year. I could see he had some pretty good potential and also Dalvin Manns. He can throw the ball well,” Fitzhenry said. “We started working on the spread last year during two-a-days along with the flexbone, but the biggest, No. 1 thing is your offensive line and going from heavy hand to a balanced stance and pass-, zone-blocking. Everybody just wants to throw the football and not everyone understands that protection is a huge part of that. … I think that’s the biggest key is our offensive line and getting their technique down and learning the pass and zone blocking.”
Junior-to-be Mason Hayes is Pine Tree’s top returning receiver. He finished second on the team in 2012 with 32 catches for 777 yards and six touchdowns. That’s an average of 24.3 yards per catch.
Two newcomers to watch are junior-to-be athlete Douglas Morgan (6-0, 185) and senior-to-be offensive lineman Sam Stoker, who is relatively new to football but has potential with a 6-foot-4, 325-pound frame.