Patience paid off for Viera High’s Caleb Osburn, and now he’s getting a chance to realize his dream of playing college football.
The senior wide receiver announced his commitment this week to Samford University as a preferred walk-on, making him the sixth Viera player from this year’s senior class to advance to the next level.
Zak Sedaros (South Florida), Brady Touzet (St. Thomas); Tyler Cooley (Keiser) and Jackson Hatfield (Mississippi College) all signed on National Signing Day on Feb. 3. Several weeks later, Nolan Helton committed to Keiser University.
“Today was so special,” Osburn wrote in a Twitter message following his signing ceremony.
“For starters, it was the day where a lifelong dream of mine was finally officially accomplished, and everything I had worked so hard for was all coming together. I wasn’t able to sign with the rest of my teammates back on February 3rd, so getting to do this was such a blessing.”
Osburn, who caught 33 passes for 814 yards and six touchdowns as a senior, had been talking with Samford since January and said the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in his April signing.
“The entire process took much longer for everything to fall into place than I expected,” Osburn wrote. “I wasn’t able to see or do a lot of the things that without COVID, I would’ve done, such as visit the coaches in person on campus or see the locker room, weight room, facility, etc.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the campus twice and because Samford played a spring season, I got to see one of their games from the stands. After many talks with my parents and many phone calls with the Samford coach, Samford began to emerge as the front runner for me.”
Those trips to Birmingham, Alabama, coupled with what Samford has to offer ultimately stood out to Osburn as he was making his decision.
He liked the fact that it’s a private Christian school, because his faith is important to him, and that the class sizes are small.
“The biggest question I continued to ask myself was would I still love being here in Birmingham even without football, and I soon found my answer as I fell in love with the school,” he said. “I’ve been so blessed to be given this opportunity despite all of the setbacks, and I know Samford is going to be amazing for me.”
The Bulldogs, who compete in the Southern Conference, run a passing offense that Osburn said is similar to the scheme the Hawks use which is “the best thing I could ask for.”
He plans to major in marketing and will always remember his time as a Viera Hawk.
“Viera will forever hold a special place in my heart, and the bonds and memories that I created here are ones that I know will last a lifetime,” he said. “Seeing everyone come to my signing event and support me was so amazing and I’m incredibly blessed to have a team and a community and a family like this one.
“Never forget where you came from, and never forget the people that got you here.”
Osburn also had some advice for younger players.
“Patience is the biggest key during the recruiting process,” he wrote. “Your time is coming and all you have to do is believe that. Schools will find you, just continue to push yourself and get better every day. The work will pay off and will not go unnoticed.”