Mississippi State guard Deion Calhoun didn’t play a down last year while redshirting his initial year on campus.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he hasn’t had experience in the trenches against a veteran defensive lineman.
“Every day on the scout team I had to block Kaleb Eulls,” Calhoun said. “That really helped me learn what it was like to block a really good defensive tackle in the SEC.”
Calhoun soaked in the knowledge last year and took advantage of his time in the weight room. Unlike most true freshmen, the 6-foot-3 Pleasant Grove, Ala., native was asked to shed weight during his rookie year. He arrived at 335-pounds but is currently down to 303.
Calhoun was able to pickup the playbook fairly quickly despite coming from the private school ranks.
“It’s really not as hard as you’d think,” Calhoun said. “You just have to focus on what your job is and what is called out.”
With Ben Beckwith‘s graduation at right guard, Calhoun now finds himself in a battle with junior Devon Desper for that starting spot as fall gets underway in August.
“It feels good to compete for a starting job,” Calhoun said. “Coming into the spring I thought I’d be third string but coach (John) Hevesy told me he was moving me to right guard. I was used to left guard and thought I’d mess up but I really got it.”
Calhoun was a first team All-State selection in high school and earned offers from Southern Miss, Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Troy, UAB and Western Kentucky but decided to commit to the Bulldogs on Christmas Day in 2013.
“I’ve been really happy here,” Calhoun said. “The reason I came is because it’s a family. On my visit, everybody seemed like family which was what coach (Dan) Mullen is always preaching.”