NCF On The Trail: D.J. Calhoun

Biggest flips: Pac-12 

February, 3, 2014
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Many of the biggest flips relating to Pac-12 teams came fairly early in the process, which means there might not be much chaos on signing day when it comes to recruits flipping commitments. However, as with every year, flips will help and hurt a number of conference programs come Wednesday, and we take a look at the five biggest in the Pac-12 during this recruiting cycle.


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Midyear Signings: Arizona State

December, 20, 2013
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According to TheSunDevils.com, the following players have signed with Arizona State:

D.J. Calhoun, OLB, El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito
HT: 6-0 WT: 201
Positional Rank: No. 15 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 224)

Edmond Boateng, DE, Wesley Chapel, Fla./New Mexico Military Institute
HT: 6-4 WT: 275
Positional Rank: No. 3 DE Juco
Stars: 4
ESPN JC50 (No. 25)

ASU grabs another ESPN 300 recruit

December, 13, 2013
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Arizona State continued its march toward the top of the Pac-12 recruiting rankings, landing ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East).

Smallwood gave his verbal commitment to the Arizona State coaches during an in-home visit Wednesday.

Smallwood, the nation's No. 240 overall prospect, gives Arizona State six ESPN 300 prospects and is the second former USC commit to pledge to the Sun Devils, joining ESPN 300 linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito).

After decommitting from USC earlier this fall, there was little doubt Smallwood would wind up in Tempe, though he also looked at Alabama and Oklahoma -- and took an official visit to see the Sooners. Smallwood and his father consistently mentioned Arizona State's standout defensive tackle Will Sutton and believed the 6-foot, 290-pound Smallwood could replicate Sutton's production in the desert.

The Sun Devils now have 21 commitments in the 2014 class, and have put together some significant momentum in December. Smallwood's commitment came just one day after a pledge from three-star athlete Kalen Ballage (Peyton, Colo./Falcon). Four-star running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) and three-star juco defensive end Jonathon Johnson (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College) also committed to Arizona State earlier this month.

While plenty of credit for Smallwood's commitment goes to the Arizona State coaches, a hat tip must again be given to quarterback commit Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin), who has established himself as one of the top recruiters in this class.


It has been a wild week of recruiting in the Pac-12, with ups and downs for over half the programs in the conference. There have been six commitments and four decommitments since Monday afternoon, with one prospect decommitting and committing to the same school. And with this kind of momentum generated early in the week, there's a good chance it could continue through Sunday, with several programs hosting big recruiting weekends.

Washington and Cal post up and down weeks

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Arizona State and Oregon added to top-40 classes earlier this week, as the Sun Devils grabbed another ESPN 300 prospect and the Ducks flexed their muscles in Texas. USC softened its policy against in-season visitors, while UCLA will look to take advantage of hosting a committed visitor of its own this weekend.

Arizona State adds another

It didn't come as much of a surprise when ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) verbally committed to Arizona State this past Sunday, but that didn't make the commitment any less important for the Sun Devils. Head coach Todd Graham's program is picking up steam on the recruiting trail as it puts together wins on the field. Calhoun joins teammate Jalen Harvey and four-star tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge) as recent commitments for Arizona State, while quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) continues to do an excellent job in selling the program to recruits. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Sun Devils eventually reel in California prospects Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley), Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch) and Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdae), as the buzz -- especially in California -- continues to grow. Arizona State now has the nation's No. 25 recruiting class -- up three spots due to the updated ESPN 300 -- and sits just behind No. 24 Stanford and No. 20 Arizona as the third-best class in the Pac-12.

Hollins hollers for Oregon


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Notebook: Juco DT visits Trojans 

October, 28, 2013
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The USC Trojans lost junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) last week when he decided to switch his commitment to Miami (Fla.), but they quickly moved in on another highly regarded lineman.


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Scouts' Take: Calhoun to ASU

October, 28, 2013
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Former USC pledge D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) found a new home on Sunday when he committed to Arizona State. Read below to see how our scouts feel the ESPN 300 prospect will contribute to the Sun Devils' defense: What he brings: Calhoun is a productive linebacker prospect who will bring a very good combination of speed and athleticism to Arizona State. While he lacks ideal size for an outside linebacker prospect, he will fill the hole with deceptive power and is an explosive tackler. Still, we really like what he brings to the table in terms of coverage skills, short-area quickness and range. Calhoun has a versatile, athletic skill-set; size is his only flaw at this stage but he plays bigger than his measurables suggest.

How he fits: Calhoun could play the Spur linebacker position for ASU, which will accentuate his speed, athleticism and coverage skills while masking his lack of size early in his career. However, he is also a good fit for their Will position with his range, strong closing ability and instincts in traffic despite lacking ideal size for that spot.

Prediction for performance: Calhoun is a high-effort, quick-attacking linebacker who fits well in this defense, both in style and skill-set. His ability to play multiple linebacker positions in ASU’s scheme should allow for early playing time, particularly if he can continue to add size. While we see the ability to contribute early, this is also a high upside linebacker whose best football might still be ahead of him.

How the class is shaping up: The Sun Devils have been rising up the recruiting rankings this fall and the commitment of Calhoun will likely propel them even more in this week’s update. This is a balanced class that has filled needs on both offense and defense with explosive playmakers and increased its overall speed and athleticism.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 28, 2013
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Arizona State went back to El Cerrito (Calif.) High School to add another verbal commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, several big visitors took in Oregon's win over UCLA, and career rushing records fell in San Diego and at a Northern California high school in this week's Pac-12 weekend recruiting wrap.

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Arizona State capped off a very impressive week of recruiting as ESPN 300 linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) committed on Sunday afternoon.

Calhoun is the second ESPN 300 and third four-star verbal commitment of the past week for the Sun Devils, who recently jumped seven spots -- to No. 27 overall -- in the class rankings.

This commitment is another result from a terrific showing last weekend, when Arizona State put up a big win against Washington and the coaches hit every correct note with three official visitors in town. Arizona State now has gone 3 for 3 with those visitors, as Calhoun's teammate Jalen Harvey decommitted from Cal and committed to Arizona State on Monday, four-star offensive tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Thunder Ridge) committed on Tuesday, and Calhoun completed the hat trick.

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Early Offer: Banner day for Miami 

October, 23, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Wednesday's offerings: Tuesday was a big day for Miami, as the Canes were able to finally put the lingering questions about NCAA sanctions to bed and also land a commitment from highly regard junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche; recruiting fans will get a chance on Thursday to see why Marlon Humphrey is one of the nation's best prospects.

Hurricanes put questions in rear-view mirror
Miami has had to answer questions from recruits for nearly four years about what might happen when the NCAA finally handed down penalties from the Nevin Shapiro scandal. Those questions were finally answered on Tuesday, as Miami will not face any additional bowl bans and lose three scholarships annually over the next three years. The news was huge for the Canes’ recruiting efforts moving forward. It allows UM to put the entire matter to rest, and Al Golden and Co. no longer have to sit in the living room of recruits and talk about “what ifs.” The Canes are also through having to deflect negative recruiting that has gone on for years by other schools. As expected, Miami recruits were absolutely giddy when discovering the news, including four-star receiver commit Braxton Berrios, who said Miami is “full speed ahead now.”

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Arizona State adds ESPN 300 WR 

October, 22, 2013
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Arizona State was riding high after a big win over Washington this past weekend, and that momentum carried through Monday on the recruiting trail.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Mondays sometimes can be slow for recruiting news, but not this week. The day started with two major decommitments from Pac-12 programs, one of those decommitments later committing to another Pac-12 program, and ended with a pledge from one of the nation's top 2015 prospects to a SEC team.


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Pac-12 battle for D.J. Calhoun? 

October, 21, 2013
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When ESPN 300 linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) said on Sunday that Arizona State had firmly become one of his top three schools following an official visit to Tempe, Monday's news -- when Calhoun announced his decommitment from USC -- didn't come as much of a surprise.


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OLB Calhoun decommits from USC 

October, 21, 2013
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videoUSC had been on a mini-run of commitments since the firing of Lane Kiffin, but interim head coach Ed Orgeron’s recruiting efforts took a blow Monday when ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) decommitted from the Trojans.

The decision had been brewing for weeks. Calhoun made an official visit to Arizona State over the weekend, stayed in Tempe, Ariz., through Monday and opted to re-open his recruitment altogether.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 21, 2013
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There was plenty of news made in the desert this weekend, as Arizona landed two commitments and Arizona State had a number of visitors on hand. A number of standout performances by Pac-12 targets and positive statements made in losses are also highlighted in this week's recruiting wrap.

Biggest commitment: A nod goes to USC, which landed a commitment from three-star defensive end Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra) on Friday night, but focus quickly shifted to Arizona over the weekend, as the Wildcats landed two commitments. Wide receiver Kaelin Deboskie (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic) gives the Wildcats another dynamic offensive skill player and a local talent, as he joines teammate and ESPN 300 prospect Cameron Denson in Arizona's class. The Wildcats also grabbed a commitment from offensive tackle Levi Walton (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker), who announced via Twitter that he gave a verbal to Arizona while on an official visit. Arizona now holds 26 verbal commitments in the 2014 class and will continue to recruits its top targets -- including offensive lineman Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial), who was on an official visit this past weekend -- as academics and late defections have a way of shaping recruiting classes as coaches close in on the right number of signatures.

Best performance by a commit/target: Normally, 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns won't get noticed, but in the case of ESPN 300 safety Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), those numbers came on just three carries and despite a few nagging injuries.


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