SEATTLE -- Teré Calloway (Seattle/Seattle Prep) stood behind a table surrounded by friends and family at the Seattle Rotary Boys & Girls Club on Friday.
At one end of the table, his Seattle Prep helmet rested on a blue jersey. On the other end, his Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl helmet sat on top of a white jersey.
In the middle, three hats were lined up: Nevada, Southern Miss and SMU.
After giving a short speech, Calloway started to pick up the Southern Miss hat. It looked like a decision had been made. Then he surprised everyone and grabbed a hidden Nevada hat, giving a verbal commitment to the Wolf Pack.
“It was the best mix of coaching staff, academics and also athletically,” Calloway said. “They need cornerbacks. Everyone could see that in the Arizona game. They need me to step in.
“At Southern Miss, I liked the coaches. I really fell in love with the coaches, but you can’t solely depend on that with the coaching carousel. It really came down to academics for me.”
When everyone in the gym realized what happened, D.J. Fenner stood up and shouted. The standout basketball player at Seattle Prep, who signed with Nevada, was excited Calloway would be joining him at the same school next season.
“I had it planned,” Calloway said. “Everyone thought I was going to Southern Miss because of my love for the South. I had to do a little something special. I lied to D.J. about it and everything.”
After Nevada coach Chris Ault decided to retire following this past season, Calloway wasn’t sure where his final decision would lead him. However, after an in-home visit with new Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian, Calloway decided Nevada was the right fit.
“I really enjoyed him,” Calloway said. “My family really liked him. I felt really comfortable with where he’s taking the program.”
Now that he has given a verbal commitment, Calloway has already started to set lofty goals.
“First goal: freshman All-American,” Calloway said. “Second goal: Jim Thorpe Award within three years. And third goal: first-round draft pick. I set my goals high. If I fall, I expect to fall not too far from them, but it’s always motivation. I’m never afraid to set high goals. That’s something I’ve always used.”
Calloway is good friends with Notre Dame freshman corner KeiVarae Russell. Calloway had Russell send his stats from this season, and Calloway is setting his goals above what Russell accomplished in his first college season.
Calloway has plenty of work to do to reach those goals. On Friday, though, he was able to enjoy the moment as the weight of a difficult decision was lifted off his shoulders.
“It takes a lot of stress away,” Calloway said. “It’s fun at first, but it really takes a toll with all the offers and all the coaches calling. And now that I know where I’m going, I can get set on being the best player I can be for that program.”