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Sunday, December 9, 2012
USF the new leader for Aleon Calhoun

By Damon Sayles

After his latest official visit and with unexpected coaching news from a projected front-runner, junior college offensive tackle Aleon Calhoun (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro College) might be looking at a new place to continue his college career.

The sophomore took an official visit to South Florida over the weekend and said he thoroughly enjoyed the trip. He was hosted by defensive end Tevin Mims, a former Navarro teammate.

“It was wonderful,” said Calhoun, a 6-foot-7, 345-pound tackle. “I can’t really get it no better than South Florida. [Mims] was a good host. He had me leaning more and more towards South Florida.”

Calhoun said South Florida is now a favorite. That spot used to belong to Texas Tech, who is recuperating after the news of coach Tommy Tuberville leaving to take the head job at Cincinnati. While South Florida also is going through a coaching change -- the Bulls announced Willie Taggart as their new head coach to replace Skip Holtz on Saturday -- Calhoun said he liked how professional his visit went in the hours the program was without a coach.

“Because they didn’t have a coach, a lot of [the visitors] really went up there thinking we were going to party,” Calhoun said. “But when we got there, they told us they were running everything like the head coach was there. That showed me they were organized. Then, I met Coach Taggart -- what’s not to like about the guy? He’s a real cool dude.”

As for Texas Tech, Calhoun -- who originally signed with the Red Raiders out of high school -- said he is debating on whether or not to take this weekend’s scheduled official visit there. He was a big fan of Tuberville, and with him gone, he’s wondering how the program will do.

“I really liked Coach Tub. He ran his program almost to perfection,” Calhoun said. “When you lose a coach like that, you wonder things. Him leaving was another stumbling block. It made me wonder if that’s really where I want to go.

“I’ve known Coach Tub for three years, and he’s always been a good coach. Now, you just don’t know how things are going to flow.”

In addition to South Florida and Texas Tech offers, Calhoun has offers from Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and several other programs. He led Navarro to a third consecutive Southwest Junior College Football Conference title and back-to-back C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl titles. Calhoun also was a part of an offensive line that helped Navarro lead the nation in rushing.