Kalen Ballage takes college hunt, ESPN attention in stride to enjoy senior year at Falcon

August 25, 2013 Updated: August 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm
photo - Falcon High School running back Kalen Ballage  is one of Colorado's most recruited athletes. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Falcon High School running back Kalen Ballage is one of Colorado's most recruited athletes. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

Google his name, and you'll find copious information on Kalen Ballage. Watch his video highlights on ESPN.com, compare his stats or chime in on the myriad chat rooms all over the Internet. He's that talented.

In the past year, life has changed dramatically for the Falcon senior running back, receiver and linebacker. That's because he's good. As arguably the most-recruited football player in Colorado, he manages to take it all in stride.

He had to catch himself, though.

"It got to a point, doing all these interviews, where I had to tell myself 'It's not about that' and that I had to slow down a little," said Ballage, the fourth of five siblings. "I had to focus on why I'm here. I'm focusing on football and my team."

Ballage's phone regularly receives calls and texts from not only coaches, but the scores of recruiting and scouting websites. On rivals.com, a part of Yahoo! Sports, Ballage - listed No. 7 in the country in the "athlete" position - has been mentioned in 32 stories, written by a variety of authors nationwide, just since October.

They all want a story, to break the news that he's finally committed, or where's he's going next, or where he's thinking about going next.

"I give them a story when it's convenient for me," Ballage said. "I don't give them what they want all the time. When you're at this level, you have to expect the attention, as long as it's not going too far. But it feels good that people are watching."

Ballage possesses a rare combination of size, strength and blazing speed. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. He recorded one of the state's fastest times in the 100 meters among high school athletes last year at 10.64 seconds

With that blend of talents, the bevy of Division I offers have followed. How many? Even Ballage doesn't know.

"To be honest, I'm not keeping count, but I know it's over 25," Ballage said. "I've been blessed, that's for sure."

The burning question: Where will Ballage end up? He won't spill the beans until after the season, but listed Boise State, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona State and Washington as universities he'd like to see in person. He gets five official visits per NCAA rules.

Regardless of his future plans and NFL aspirations, Ballage won't allow anything to get in the way of his senior year, and helping his team to the ultimate goal.

"We want to win state, and that's the same goal every year," Ballage said. "Now that I'm a senior, things are great. Knowing you're the oldest, you get the feeling that you run things, on the field and in school as well. You finally get that feeling of superiority, to know everything is going to be OK."

Ballage remembers the recruiting process from a different perspective when older brother Keenen was being courted by numerous colleges. Keenen originally went to Colorado State but later transferred to Hastings (Neb.) College, where he recently received his degree.

Now, Kalen hopes to take advantage of learning from his elders.

"I could definitely name off a million things they would say," Ballage said. "What they told me, was just keep focusing on what you're doing. When you're on or off the field, just make sure you make the right decision, not letting other things get in the back of your mind. Then, everything will fall into place and success will come."

Ranking Ballage

A look at how some of the nation’s top recruiting sites view Ballage.

Rivals.com ranks him 133rd nationally, 1st in Colorado, and 7th in the nation at the “athlete position”

Scout.com ranks him 39th in the nation at the RB position

247sports.com ranks him 3rd in the state, 2nd in the state at “athlete”

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