During a recent football practice in Riverdale, senior Caleb Herring helped pull a quick one on coach Will Kriesky.
“We were cutting in training and I was going after (one of the players),” Kriesky said. “(Herring) snuck up behind me and held me down while they poured a bucket of water on me.”
That’s the kind of personality Herring has, and it shows just how much Tennessee’s football commitment has evolved during his time with the Warriors.
“The kids are really having a great time with him,” Kriesky said. “He’s a people person and he has a very good relationship with the players and the coaches. Whenever a kid has a tough training, you always see him sneaking around and talking to him.”
But confidence hasn’t always come so easily for Herring.
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The state’s No. 1 prospect for the Class of 2023 according to 247Sports Composite and Tennessean’s 2022 No. 1 player Dandy Dozen said he had moments of doubt when he started being ranked by national recruitment services.
“At first I was a little nervous,” Herring said. “I thought I would have a lot of pressure on my back. My sophomore year, my freshman year in college, I didn’t know if I would be as good and up to it. I thought it was a lot of pressure because that I didn’t have a college movie.”
Herring, a four-star rusher, shook nerves and lived up to the billing. After being ranked No. 3 in the 2023 class, he was quickly promoted to No. 1 after his sophomore year.
“He won’t allow negativity to be expressed,” Caleb’s mother, Tiffany Herring, said. “It will sternly bring you back to positivity very quickly.
“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Caleb is that he is full of faith. He believes that with the guidance of God, he can conquer anything. He is also humble. Through all the noise of football, he managed to walk humbly.”
Tennessee bonded with his brother
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Herring joined the Flights in April, joining his older brother, Elijah, who is a freshman with the Flights.
He is considered the 11th edge forward in the country and the 83rd overall rookie. He has received offers from nine SEC schools, as well as Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan, Penn State, USC, Baylor and Wisconsin.
Caleb is eager to join Elijah in Knoxville. The two grew even closer during the recruiting process.
“We really didn’t mind,” Caleb said. “As far as recruiting, we just helped each other. After Elijah signed up, he immediately started helping me. Whenever I got stressed, he would say, ‘God put you in this position. . Few people have this opportunity. this.’
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“He didn’t push me to join (in Tennessee). He always told me school was what made me feel comfortable.”
Having a year to himself, not playing in his brother’s shadow, should be good for Caleb as well.
“I told someone in the spring that it was good for Caleb that Elijah left (to UT) in January,” Kriesky said. “We always harassed him and called him ‘little brother.’ is behaved with his teammates and coaches.”
“A lot of people looked up to Elijah,” Caleb added. “When he left, all the attention went to me.”
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Caleb grew up in Georgia before his family moved to Tennessee while he was in college.
“I’ve been Caleb’s brother since freshman year and he’s come a long way in his journey,” said Caleb’s good friend and teammate Isaac Oglesby. “He’s worked really hard to get to where he is today. It’s been a blessing to be on the court with him and I can’t wait to dominate the season with him for our last race. I love it this guy.”
Herring had 54 tackles (five for loss) with a half sack, an interception and a caused fumble in 2021.
How will it fit into the Flights?
“He’s about 210, but after putting him on a nutrition program with three meals a day, a weight room, and stuffing him with peanut butter and stuff, he’ll easily put on 20 pounds,” said Austin Price, who covers Tennessee football for Rivals.com.
“His frame will be 245-250 (pounds), but he won’t lose his athleticism. It sounds silly, but it happens all the time here. If he gets here in January, by the time he gets to fall camp a year from now he will be 30 pounds heavier than when he arrived.”