by Scott Kindberg
April 26, 2008
Caulcrick Would Welcome Call From Any Team
But this weekend the former Clymer Central School and Michigan State University star is not about to show allegiance in any one direction.
"Right now," he said earlier this week, "I'm not a fan of any team."
That will likely change sometime Sunday, if, as expected, Caulcrick is selected in the NFL Draft or hooks on with a team as an undrafted free agent. The 6-foot, 254-pounder has been projected as a late-round selection by most online draftniks and NFL teams, as either a fullback or running back.
"He's a big back," Tom Modrak, the Bills' vice president of college scouting, told buffalobills.com. "He's like a 4-minute back. He grinds it. He's a big back. We think he's better as a running back than a fullback. But on some boards he's probably able to switch, be interchangeable. Some offense will feel a little bit better about that. He's a big, downhill, make-the-first-down kind of guy."
The statistics back that up.
In four seasons at Michigan State, Caulcrick rushed for 2,395 yards (No. 10 on the Spartans' all-time list) and 39 touchdowns, which are the second-best total in school history. Only two-time All-American Lorenzo White (43) had more. As a senior, Caulcrick has had his most impressive campaign as he led the Big Ten Conference and ranked 11th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game. His 21 rushing touchdowns were a school record and the ninth-best single season total in conference history (tied with Wisconsin's Ron Dayne), and his 872 yards on the ground were a career high.
"Jehuu Caulcrick's best attribute is his ability to run with power," Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio said on the Michigan State Web site. "Jehuu is so good with the ball in his hands because he doesn't fumble. He has soft hands as a pass receiver. He can pass protect and he can contribute on special teams. When Jehuu is in a zone, he's almost unstoppable because of his ability to break tackles and punish defenders. He's a big back that has a knack for scoring touchdowns."
That ability to find the end zone and a good performance at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis have had fans of Internet message boards showing considerable interest in Caulcrick.
His Combine results included a 4.6 clocking in the 40-yard dash, a 33-inch vertical jump and 16 reps in the 25-pound bench press. Three weeks later at his "pro day" at Michigan State, Caulcrick improved in several categories, including his vertical jump, which was an impressive 37 inches.
Still, after all that, Caulcrick admitted this week that he "doesn't have a clue" about where he'll end up, although he's been interviewed by every team.
"I think it's funny," he said. "All these people claim to be sports fans and claim to know where people are going to go, but I've seen it firsthand with my friends, and you can't predict the draft."
Eric Smith, Caulcrick's roommate at Michigan State and now a safety with the New York Jets, has offered him counsel.
"Everyone's saying it's going to be a long day," Caulcrick said. "They say just to stay calm and enjoy the day as much as you can."
Modrak said he's aware of Caulcrick's local ties, but that won't be a factor on whether the Bills' select him.
"That won't make us make the pick, but I'm aware of it," Modrak told buffalobills.com. "He's a good kid. He's the kind of kid that's on our list at the right place and if the opportunity presents itself and we think its a value, we'll do it, but not for any other reason."