Kansas State University

Maize basketball star Caleb Grill announces long-awaited commitment, picks Iowa State

VK Pod: Maize’s Caleb Grill on his reopened recruitment + top 5 spring athletes

Maize High School basketball, football, track and baseball player Caleb Grill talks about his reopened college recruitment. Preps reporter Hayden Barber ranks the top five spring sports athletes in the Wichita area.
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Maize High School basketball, football, track and baseball player Caleb Grill talks about his reopened college recruitment. Preps reporter Hayden Barber ranks the top five spring sports athletes in the Wichita area.

Caleb Grill’s wait is over. He is going to Iowa State.

The Maize High basketball star signed with South Dakota State in November, but that was before coach T.J. Otzelberger accepted the head coaching job at UNLV. Grill worked with the NCAA and got out of his National Letter of Intent on March 29 and had since been taking recruiting visits.

Grill said at least 30 or 40 school reached out to him when he reopened his recruitment.

Since Grill went back on the market, he received offers from UNLV, Creighton, Iowa State and Kansas State. He soared up the recruiting boards, going to No. 145 on Rivals’ Top 150 list of prospects. He was one of 12 undecided players on the list.

Grill, a 6-foot-3 guard, announced his decision to attend Iowa State in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

Grill said he was down to three schools: Iowa State, UNLV and K-State.

“Iowa State was just a little bit better at everything,” Grill said. “It was a really tough decision. I feel like if I had chosen any of the other two, it would have been a good fit. I just feel like I fit Iowa State’s style the best. It’s fast and uptempo, getting up and down and shooting threes.”

Grill said the second round of recruiting was exhausting. Before his commitment to South Dakota State, he spent a year talking with coaches and touring campuses. The second go-around lasted about a month during his track and baseball seasons. He said he made a short-list after the first week and cut out several schools after the first couple of days.

“This takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” he said. “Being busy with sports, I haven’t been focused a lot. It has always been on my mind.”

K-State had Grill on campus for official and unofficial visits. It was his first Division I in-state offer. He said he enjoyed the Wildcats coaches and players but said Iowa State just had more of what he was looking for.

UNLV countered with Otzelberger, Grill’s biggest reason for originally committing to South Dakota State. Grill said he called Otzelberger on Monday night to tell him the news.

“I was trying not to cry, but as soon as I tried to tell him, I lost it and started bawling,” Grill said.

Grill said playing in one of the nation’s top leagues against some of the country’s premier teams, all reasonably close to home, is the most exciting part of his decision.

At Maize, Grill set numerous records and was chosen to The Eagle’s All-State team as a senior, receiving the most coaches’ votes of any player in Kansas. In the 2018-19 season, he had 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game and helped the Eagles to their best finish, third, in school history.

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