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College coaches interested in talents of Decatur’s star defensive back

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College coaches interested in talents of Decatur’s star defensive back

Kaleb Lanier (number 5) in action against Flowery Branch High School. Photo by Keson Graham, provided by Kaleb Lanier.

By David McFarland, contributor

Decatur, GA —  Decatur senior defensive back Kaleb Lanier has colleges from Georgia Tech to the University of Kentucky attempting to persuade him to join their teams next fall.

Lanier played key role in the Bulldogs’ region championship last season. He’s currently fielding interest from: Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Appalachian State, Temple, UAB, and UNC Charlotte.

“After I received my first offer I was honestly in shock,” Lanier said. “I was very grateful for the opportunity, it showed my hard work was beginning to pay off and I was just super thankful and grateful.”

Lanier doesn’t seem fazed as to how he’ll ultimately decide. His family has been there to support and guide him from day one.

“My brother Kenric Lanier II is currently going through the process of playing college football at The University of Minnesota,” Lanier said. “He’s definitely helped me throughout my career and without him I wouldn’t be in this position, so I have to give him some credit. Also, my parents and little sister, just knowing they have my back will help me get through the process of leaving and going off to school.”

Lanier is clear and confident in his criteria for selecting schools as well.

“Education will be the biggest point of emphasis when choosing which school I will attend,” he said. “A good brotherhood will also go into my decision, as well as building relationships with the coaches who are recruiting me right now.”

Recruiting is no easy task for Lanier.

“The recruiting process comes with a lot of communication from different coaches, mailing, calling, and texting you,” he said. “Taking unofficial visits, as well as attending camps. It’s a lot, but I’m blessed to be in this spot right now, and I’m trying to cherish every moment of this process.”

Lanier’s football journey includes four seasons of victories, defeats, and lessons as part of the Decatur team.

“Freshman year, I played Varsity sparingly, but starting my Sophomore year was big for me,” Lanier said. “We started off the year pretty poorly at 1-4. As a team, we came together, talked about it, and figured out that we had to become one unit and trust each other. Off the field, I lost my grandmother and grandad during the season, which made my heart heavy while playing. I just had to pray, trust God, and keep going. I had to grow up quickly, and that growth has made me into the player I am today. My favorite moment would have to be winning the region championship last year. That was a spectacular night and to do it with that group of guys was amazing. We had a great team, we were all connected and all cared for each other, so to do it with that group made it even better.”

Along with football, Lanier is also part of the Varsity track and basketball teams.

Three Varsity sports can be quite the handful, but for Lanier, it has also been an advantage.

“Balancing sports has been rough at times when one season flows into the next, so having to be ready to go after one season concludes is tough,” he said. “But the transitions have been going very well so far. I have gained many friendships by playing multiple sports, also I feel as if they have helped me as a football player. For example, track has gotten me faster and the physicality of Football has helped me play with bigger guys on the basketball court.”

For now, though, Lanier is fully focused on the Bulldogs’ 2023 football campaign, which began two weeks ago, and is ready to leave Decatur with a bang.

“My goals for the remainder of this current season are to first go back-to-back and win the region,” Lanier said. “Secondly, make a deep run in the state playoffs. We have a really great coaching staff, and they have all the confidence in the world in us to make a run and compete for a state championship, so that is what we are striving for.”

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