Senior wide receiver returns kick for touchdown, catches two TD passes in 42-7 win

Senior wide receiver returns kick for touchdown, catches two TD passes in 42-7 win

 

WHEATON – Kaleb Clousing comes from a family of tennis players.

His mom, Patti, is the Wheaton Warrenville South tennis coach. Kaleb’s older sister, Keisha, won the 2012 IHSA state singles championship.

Kaleb dabbled in tennis, but football is his game. And he plays it quite well, thank you.

This past Friday, Clousing was simply spectacular, returning a kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and catching two touchdown passes from Parker Brown in the Tigers’ season-opening 42-7 win over Lake Park.

Clousing was voted the Friday Night Drive Team of the Week MVP with a whopping 426 votes, taking the top honor over runner-up Josh Brown of Willowbrook.

Clousing was presented his MVP belt, sponsored by Schweickert, Ganassin, Krzak, Rundio, LLP., at Tuesday’s practice in front of his teammates and coaches. Clousing, who will play football in college at Grand Valley State, then answered a few questions from Suburban Life sports editor Joshua Welge.

 

What did it feel like to be back on the field last Friday?

Clousing: It was long, long-awaited, a great feeling. We were all talking about it inside before we came out. We were all so excited and jacked up to run out together and finally play football after what it feels like an eternity waiting. It was a great feeling.

What kind of work did you put in during such a long offseason? What did you work at to get better while you were waiting to hopefully play again?

Clousing: Just throwing with my QB, with me and some of my receivers, constantly working on footwork and running sprints and in and out of routes, trying to get your hands on a football as much as you can. And obviously the working out in the weight room comes with that.

Can you describe the connection you have with Parker?

Clousing: Me and Parker have been buddies for a pretty long time, going back to Wheaton Rams, the little QB, wide receiver connection. Who knew we’d be together on varsity. It feels like we’ve been playing together forever. You can feel the connection. I know that ball is going to be in a perfect spot. He puts the ball where it needs to be for me to make plays.

What happened on the kickoff return? It seemed like a very big play.

Clousing: The first time they kicked it short so I moved up a little bit. I popped it up, caught it, we had the right return going, caught it and saw a hole open up because those guys were blocking really good. I just ran as fast as I could.

This season, there’s no playoffs. What’s the goal?

Clousing: The goal is to go undefeated and take home that conference championship. We’re taking it game by game, and Glenbard North is next. We’re preparing for Glenbard North, not thinking too far ahead.

How did you make a connection with Grand Valley State?

Clousing: Over the quarantine, I was trying to get my film out, trying to connect with as many coaches as I could. I could obviously only use my junior film. They contacted me, we started talking, those coaches are some cool dudes. The facilities are awesome, the school is beautiful. I went for a visit and fell in love.

Who’s your favorite wide receiver?

Clousing: DK Metcalf, for sure.

What’s your favorite TV show and movie?

Clousing: TV show, I’m going to go with “The Blacklist.” Movie, I probably have to go with “The Sandlot.” I used to watch that all the time.