It was not your normal day or two in Hogansville. Last Tuesday and Thursday two of college football’s winningest coaches, Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Nick Saban of Alabama, paid a visit to Callaway High School. It was a recruiting trip for both coaches and so much more for CHS.
“There was an electric atmosphere (around here). The teachers loved it. The coaches took pictures with the teachers. They (Meyer and Saban) sat and talked with our coaches. It was really cool. You know you are doing something right when you have those kind of visitors,” said Callaway High head football coach Pete Wiggins.
Saban and Meyer are interested in at least two of the Cavalier football players. Ohio State has already offered a football scholarship to Callaway High junior offensive tackle Keiondre Jones, the massive 6-foot-4, 315-pound piledriver.
Ohio State and Alabama are also recruiting Callaway High sophomore running back Cartavious Bigsby. Neither Meyer or Saban talked with Bigsby, or Jones or any Cavalier players on this particular visit due to NCAA rules.
But both coaches did get to meet some Callaway High faculty members, administration, teachers, and CHS coaches. Meyer and Saban are Saturday afternoon legends. Saban has a career college coaching record of 216-62-1. He has won seven SEC titles and five national championships at Alabama and LSU. Meyer is at the top of his game, too, with a career coaching record of 176-31 in 17 years at Ohio State, Florida, Utah, and Bowling Green. Meyer has won two SEC championships, two Big 10 titles, and three national championships.
Callaway High appreciated his visit to Hogansville.
“It was exciting to have the coach from Ohio State here,” said Wiggins, who has done some winning himself with a career record of 115-42 at Callaway High School.
Wiggins knows why Meyer and Saban made an effort to visit CHS and Hogansville.
“It has a lot to do with our tradition. We have guys playing on the next level (19 in college football from CHS). Our guys know how to win and how to work,” said Wiggins.
Callaway High and its head coach have had some other college football recruiters here this year as well.
“Auburn was here. South Carolina was here, and Duke was here. Kirby Smart and Gus Malzahn have been here, too, (in recent years),” said Wiggins.
Callaway High principal Jonathan Laney appreciates the attention from both Meyer and Saban on this latest recruiting adventure. Laney was especially enthralled with Saban.
“He was extremely personable and gracious. Coach Saban took every picture. He signed autographs, and he shared some stories,” said Laney.