Where Should Grant Calcaterra Transfer?
We thought that we'd seen the last of Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra. Back in November, he announced that he was done with football, thanking those who helped him along the way. Turns out some time away from the game was just what he needed to get back into the game.
A big hit to the Oklahoma offense, the Sooners had to find a replacement for a tight end with great size (6'4", 227) that presented mismatches all over the field. Then suddenly, he was back, but with a twist. On Saturday, August 15th, Calcaterra posted a tweet stating that he was coming back to the game, but that he would enter the transfer portal, ending his tenure in Norman. He adds to the list of talented players that won't play for the Sooners this year, joining Trey Sermon (transferred to Ohio State) and Kennedy Brooks (opted out of the 2020 season).
So what's the future for Grant Calcaterra? Surely there are plenty of suitors looking to add a player with his talent. But where would be the best fit? His new team's getting a player that's athletic and can high point any ball with relative ease. Just having Calcaterra on the field puts stress on the opposing defense, and presents challenges that defensive coordinators must scheme against weekly. Wherever he goes, that team gets an upgrade in their passing attack. Eligibility presents the biggest obstacle to getting him on the field on Saturdays, but let's take a look at where he'd thrive with the assumption that he could play right away.
Humor me on this one. Yes, Calcaterra's resume warrants Power 5 interest, but teaming up with Josh Heupel and Dillon Gabriel would be instant entertainment. With Gabriel Davis gone, the Knights need a big body downfield to come down with 50/50 balls. Gabriel's a potential rising star in college football, and the Knights and Calcaterra would benefit tremendously if they joined forces.
The Irish couldn't get him out of high school, but they could land him now. Ian Book's looking for weapons for pass catchers, and he'd have one less player to worry about if he gets a new tight end. Notre Dame's skill positions are the biggest question for the offense with Book and five offensive linemen returning, and Brian Kelly would put his team in a great position to win a championship if Calcaterra comes to South Bend.
Another team that tried getting Grant Calcaterra out of high school, the Sun Devils have a promising young quarterback in Jayden Daniels. Their passing attack shows plenty of promise already, and throwing in an athletic tight end would help bring attention to Tempe. Of course, with the Pac-12 canceling their fall season, this requires Calcaterra to stay for the 2021 season (or spring if that's where the conference wants to go), but the Daniels to Calcaterra connection would be worth the price of admission.
A playoff team that's looking for another weapon. Justyn Ross' injury left a big hole in the Clemson passing attack, but that could be quickly fixed by adding a tight end transfer. Trevor Lawrence already lost Tee Higgins, but Ross was an even bigger blow with a lack of proven talent behind him. Even at tight end, the Tigers didn't have anyone that they knew could step up right now. Enter Calcaterra. While Lawrence is an extremely accurate passer, he'd have extra room for error with that kind of talent. Plus, he gets to relax knowing he has a proven commodity running routes downfield.
Lane Kiffin turned Harrison Bryant into a fourth round pick out of FAU after producing career highs in receptions (65), yards (1,004), and touchdowns (7). Bryant and Calcaterra have similar builds, but many would argue that the former Sooners tight end is more talented than the current Cleveland Brown. Ole Miss' offense features a number of explosive players like quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, running back Jerrion Ealy, and wide received Elijah Moore, but throwing in Calcaterra into the mix might make the Rebels offense unfair. Kiffin knows how to build an offense, and it's scary to think that it could get even better.