TULSA — Tulsa Washington senior James Caligone has explosive quickness, sure hands and dynamic playmaking ability, an ideal set of tools for a cornerback.
With that, he knows exactly where he must focus his attention to take his game to the next level.
“It's the mental part of the game. I've got to get that down,” said the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Caligone, No. 25 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruiting list. “When I go to 7-on-7 or college camps, I'm always listening to coaches. I've learned a lot about the details of what to look at to be in the right position to make a play.
“I'm really focused on getting the mental part of the game down this summer.”
It's not an intelligence issue. Caligone is a smart football player. But after playing safety last season, he's learning the difference between being a good high school cornerback and a Division I prospect.
“What really stands out is his potential,” first-year Tulsa Washington head coach Marvin Dantzler said. “Physically and mentally, he has all the tools. We're just waiting for it to click.
“We're waiting on his maturity to kick in, and we've seen progression, so we're happy about that.”
Caligone has received recruiting interest from programs like Oklahoma State, Missouri, Texas Tech, Purdue, Kansas State and others, but has yet to receive any offers — a fact that he finds both frustrating and motivating.