Blog Entry

Willie Cauley dominating on gridiron, too

Posted on: October 3, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: October 3, 2011 10:45 am


Jeff Borzello

The idea of lining up across from a 7-foot center in basketball is scary enough, but what about a 7-foot wide receiver on the football field?

That’s what opponents of Olathe Northwest (Kan.) have had to deal with all season.

Willie Cauley, the No. 47 player in the class of 2012 for basketball, has been tearing it up on the gridiron this fall. Due to his size, speed and athleticism, he is a nightmare matchup for opposing cornerbacks. Over the weekend, Cauley had 11 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown. Through five games, he has racked up 38 receptions for 695 yards and nine touchdowns.

“I’ve played since I was in fourth grade,” Cauley said.

While he hasn’t really thought about playing both sports in high school, Kansas State has mentioned it. The Wildcats have attended multiple football games, while Kentucky has also been to one.

On the basketball recruiting front, Cauley is making progress. He cut his list to four schools last month, and has scheduled all his visits. Cauley will take a trip to Alabama this weekend, Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and Kansas State the following weekend.

Alabama has visited Olathe Northwest (Kan.), Kansas State is coming today, while Kentucky has also made a stop at the school.

The fourth school on his list is Florida; he visited the Gators in mid-September.

“[I liked] the coaches and people,” Cauley said.

Interestingly, Cauley isn’t sure what he’s looking for in a school. He is heading into each visit with an open mind in order to get a complete feel for what the school offers.

Cauley was one of the fastest-rising big men in the country during the spring and summer. He is extremely long and runs the floor better than most players at his position. Cauley is capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers, but is also active on the offensive glass and around the rim. He is also a very good shot-blocker.

“I’m working on 14-16-foot jumpers and ball-handling,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out what I do bring to the table.”

There are some people who think Cauley is a Kentucky lean, and while that might be true, he claims there are no favorites.

Either way, the end is in sight for Cauley’s recruitment.

“I want to sign in November,” he said.


Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:36 pm

Willie Cauley dominating on gridiron, too

Is it curious to you also that Olathe Kansas is but 20 miles from Lawrence, home of thee Kansas Jayhawks and they are not mentioned? KU went hard for Witchita forward Perry Ellis and landed him. They are also in the final two for Kaleb Taczewski, probably the top big man in the class. But they have avoided Willie Cauley.

In Kansas most folks fall out as KU fans or KSU fans. The rivalry between the two schools for more than century leaves alums of both schools scornful of their bitter rival. So if Cauley grew up with a close family member alum of K-State he would be pre-disposed to avoid KU. Still it is curious that KU did not offer or even try to recruit him.

Another dual sport recruit for next year is Zach Peters who, like Willie, is playing football (in Texas) this year. After skipping two years of football to concentrate on basketball, Zach has been a sensation for a football team in the hunt for a Texas state championship. Zach still reportedly plans on only basketball at KU where he is committed. For a big man, basketball is hard on the body but football is destructive. There is such a big target that big men are unable to get lower than their tacklers and take some vicious shots. Chances are both Willie and Zach stay with basketball.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or