Posted: 11:54 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
By Anthony Chiang
Caleb Perez was set to attend Rutgers as a preferred walk-on, but he decided to extend the decision-making process.
“I think I got caught up with the whole signing day thing,” said the Palm Beach Gardens football player. “I needed more time to think about it.”
After taking almost two weeks to think it over, Perez decided to switch his commitment from Rutgers to become a preferred walk-on at UCF.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Perez took an unofficial visit to UCF last week and was convinced to become a Knight after speaking with football coach George O’Leary.
It also made sense for Perez financially, as out-of-state tuition at Rutgers currently costs $24,742 compared to UCF’s in-state tuition of $5,930.
“It was just a better deal for my family and I,” Perez said.
Since he would have been attending both schools as a preferred walk-on, the first year is not covered by a scholarship. But Perez can earn a scholarship for his sophomore year if he impresses on the football field as a freshman.
Perez, who is ranked as the 46th best recruit on PBGametime’s Class of 2014 Big Board, shined as a tight end at Palm Beach Gardens. But UCF plans to play the 2013 All-Area selection as a linebacker, which he also has experience at.
“I have a lot of film playing linebacker and defensive end last season,” Perez said. “I see myself playing a lot more defense in college because you can get away with playing tight end at my size in high school, but you can’t at the next level. My size is better for the linebacker position.”
Although Perez is also a baseball star at Palm Beach Gardens, he doesn’t see himself playing the sport at UCF.
“I would love to do it, and I know Jameis Winston does it. But it’s a hard deal to do,” Perez said of playing two sports. “Since it’s a preferred walk-on spot for football, I need to be at all the workouts. I have to try and earn my scholarship going into my sophomore year.”
About the Author
Anthony Chiang began his writing career in Gainesville at the University of Florida’s student-run newspaper. At The Independent Florida Alligator, he covered the school’s golf, volleyball, baseball, and football teams. The Miami native has also written for the Sun Sentinel and MLB.com, following the Tampa Bay Rays.