Derik Calhoun will be taking his solid skill set as an outside linebacker to the University of Southern California.
Calhoun has the athleticism to be an every-down linebacker with the ability to play from sideline to sideline. Also, the El Cerrito (Calif.) High School prospect has the natural talent and strength to make it on the field as a freshman.
Fox Sports' Brandon Huffman brings us the news of his commitment:
El Cerrito (Calif.) linebacker D.J. Calhoun Is a Trojan: http://t.co/ENjFcSUF8Y— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) July 4, 2013
247 Sports has Calhoun listed as a 4-star prospect. In their composite rankings, he is the 145th-ranked recruit in the class and the 10th-ranked outside linebacker.
247 Sports lists Calhoun at 6'0" and 215 pounds with a time of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. While he's lacking a little height, with those measurements, it is easy to see why Calhoun has been highly recruited.
Calhoun is a strong tackler. He is naturally adept at using his leverage and rarely allows for broken tackles. He doesn't always take the most efficient angles when pursuing the ball, but he can make up for this with his athleticism.
Calhoun's greatest strength might be his burst in small spaces. He can quickly cover a lot of ground, and he also uses his hands well when shedding blockers. Moving onto the college game, Calhoun may struggle a bit shedding blockers as he adjust to the increased strength of his opponents.
However, his natural hand use and explosiveness should allow him to progress in this area.
Calhoun looks comfortable when dropping back in pass coverage. He has a good feel for space and quickness to stick with his man. This will allow him to succeed in zone or man coverages.
The biggest hindrance to Calhoun's progression looks like it will be his size. He has the size to get on the field, but he doesn't have the wide hips or shoulders that indicate he can handle adding much more weight.
While this will likely keep him from ever being a dominant force on the field, he still projects to be an excellent linebacker who can make an impact.