GENOA, Ark. — Every high school athlete's college recruitment is different.
Genoa Central's Caedmon Kyles inked his national letter of intent to join the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajun track and field team on Friday.
Due to the spring sports being suspended in the state of Arkansas, Kyles only competed in two track meets.
"I had a bit of a crazy spring season," Kyles said. "At the beginning of the year, I thought I would have my senior track season to continue to improve and also have a better chance to have more college coaches to look at me. After two meets, the rest of the season was canceled, and I didn't have much to go off of. That was crazy stressful."
Kyles unique recruitment took off once he videoed himself running and also timing his practice runs.
"What I ended up doing was timing my races on my own," Kyles said. "I run the 800 meters, which is two laps around the track. I actually improved on my time and I was able to get a few colleges to notice me. The University of Louisiana made me an offer and I took it.
"I would take a couple of friends with me and they would video me. It was a huge endeavor. The biggest difference between a college-bound athlete and a high school athlete is you have to go work on your own. You have to want to improve on your own everyday."
Kyles also credits his strong support system through his parents and coaches for pushing him to reach one his ultimate goals of running collegiately.
"I'm beyond grateful for my parents," Kyles said. "Some of my motivation comes from within but the other half comes from my parents. When I first moved to Genoa Central in the seventh grade, my mom kinda wanted me to take it easy and not do any athletics. She just wanted me to focus on academics. I accidentally ended up playing football and running track. Although that's not what she said in the beginning, She was totally behind my decisions. She's made it to all of my athletic events, I can't think of one she's ever missed.
"There was a underclassmen who's moving up to the ninth grade, and she's been watching everything going on through my recruitment process, so she told the track coach she wanted to join the team. If you want to excel, you have to really motivate yourself and you have to find a way to be different. You have to go above and beyond what your coaches ask you to do. I hope I'm an inspiration out there for all the upcoming Dragon runners."