The evolution of Rainier Beach defensive back Caleb Presley

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By RayJaun Stellaly, The Seattle Medium

Before committing to the University of Oregon and receiving countless Division 1 offers from schools such as Alabama, Georgia, USC, Michigan State, Washington, UCLA and SMU , Rainier Beach defensive back Caleb Presley went from relatively unknown to nationally ranked by ESPN, 247 Sports and Rivals literally overnight.

Many people who follow Metro League football may not know that Presley’s high school career didn’t start in Rainier Beach. Before finally cementing himself on Viking soil, Presley spent his first two years at football powerhouse Eastside Catholic, where he played in a state championship game before heading to Rainier Beach as a junior.

“It’s been a journey from grade one with little or no recognition to now be nationally recognized,” said Presley, who says he left Eastside Catholic based on the needs of his family. “There have been ups and downs in this process, I’m just grateful to be in this position to leave my legacy.”

In addition to his regular season regiment, Presley also played for Ford Sports Performance (FSP) during the offseason. The equivalent of AAU basketball, this club soccer team manages to gain recognition for student-athletes globally by competing against teams from different states.

After being named to the All-Metro defensive team as a sophomore, Presley, who was now on the radar of coaches across the country, made the decision to transfer to Rainier Beach.

According to Rainier Beach head football coach Corey Sampson, Presley brought a winning mentality to the program that was based on example, supporting your brothers and the thought process that hard work and talent will go. hand in hand when it comes to success. .

“Caleb has come in and stepped up, bringing a championship culture he inherited from Eastside Catholic to our program, and his leadership has helped the direction our program is heading,” Sampson said.

According to football insiders, Presley’s IQ, assertiveness and on-field instincts are what separate him not just from defensive backs in the Metro League, but from across the state. His ability to end his one-on-one clashes and be an overall leader in defense is what makes him a special player for opposing teams to consider. And for Coach Sampson, he’s not only happy to have him on his team, but he’s also a joy to watch and someone you instinctively seek out and want to do well.

“He’s the cornerstone of this team, an extension of the coaching staff,” Sampson said. “Caleb is seen as a leader and he took on the role very well.”

“He’s a great boy and player, he’s fundamentally solid and knows what other players want to do to him,” Sampson continued. “A lot of teams like to stay away from him because he’s the number one corner.”

With such good character traits and praise from his head coach, Presley said “it’s been a blessing to be supported by my community.”

In his first year with the Vikings, Rainier Beach made a deep run in the 3A state playoffs, ultimately losing to eventual state champions Bellevue in the quarterfinals. Presley again earned All-Metro League honors playing catcher, defensive back, kicking and punting.

With an impressive junior year behind him, Presley was now the player colleges wanted on their roster by 2023. By the end of the season, Presley received 21 scholarship offers in addition to the nine he had. already at the end of his second season at Eastside Catholic. Over the summer, Presley whittled down his team roster to six — Alabama, UCLA, Michigan State, Oregon, Texas A&M and Washington — and eventually decided to commit to the University of Oregon.

With the decision of where to play next year in hand, Presley could now focus on his final year at Rainier Beach. Opening the 2022 season against Lynwood, Presley looked to continue his leadership and show why he is the number one defensive back in the state. Lynwood did not throw the ball to the receivers he faced or kick the ball his way on kickoffs or punts. While Lynwood opted to stay away from him, he influenced the game with his presence as the Vikings put up a dominating effort in their season-opening 53-7 victory.

Despite the lack of action thrown by his opponents, Presley remains focused on improving his skills and achieving the goals he has set for himself and his team.

“My mindset is going to be the same,” Presley says. “It always destroyed everything that stood in my way. No one will oppose my future.


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