Daniel Calhoun: All-American in-state OT says Georgia ‘really wants me to be a ‘Dawg’
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star OT Daniel Calhoun. He ranks as the nation’s No. 4 OT and the No. 56 overall prospect for 2024 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He’s the nation’s No. 5 OT and the No. 68 overall OT prospect for the On3.com rankings.
Daniel Calhoun is known for clearing the path for his football teams. That sounds just right.
That’s because the 4-star OT now at Walton High had seen the road to playing major college football laid out for him.
Calhoun, an All-American and a priority UGA target for the 2024 cycle, has had the benefit of coming up underneath the wing of two brothers that also played major college football.
“They both played at the Division I level,” Calhoun said. “I really try to feed off of that.”
He’s the youngest. The 6-foot-6 and 350-pound “baby” of the family.
Vincent Calhoun, a 2013 prospect, went to junior college first before playing at Minnesota. He started 13 of the 21 games he saw action in during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. His other brother, Chris, was a 3-star recruit coming out of Centennial in the class of 2015. He went on to tally up 91 career tackles in 51 career games in the ACC.
Daniel Brunner, the head coach at Walton, actually coached Chris while he was at Centennial.
“My brothers have been teaching me a lot of stuff,” Daniel Calhoun said. “They have been bullying me, too. Making me tough and tougher. They definitely taught me about working out and stuff like that.”
Their father, Vincent Sr., is also listed on his son’s Minnesota football biography as having played at Alabama.
The young man is now known as “Beast” around the Calhoun family.
Calhoun saw his head coach move on from Centennial High and also found himself in a transition period. He has made the decision to move to the Class 7A Walton High School district and play for the Raiders in his senior season.
“Really it is just about seeing better competition,” Daniel Calhoun said. “Centennial was Class 5A. They were kind of a smaller school. This will also just help me get ready and be better prepared for the next level in college.”
The newest Walton Raider has long been ranked among the nation’s top 5 offensive tackles for this cycle, but he has also shown off positional versatility and the willingness to do whatever is asked of him.
He was a center during his freshman year. Catch him at camps and he’ll plug in at guard and he’s also ranked among the nation’s top recruits as an offensive tackle.
“I’ll really play whatever really,” Daniel Calhoun said. “It doesn’t matter really. It just doesn’t. Just want to help my team and be out there if I can help. It just doesn’t matter.”
“I just want to be out there. If you play, you get better. If you can play every position then if somebody gets hurt you are in the best position to get out there and play. You help your value by being able to help your team by playing multiple positions.”
Yeah, somebody has been showing him the way. He’s reached the point of his recruiting when a glance at his phone usually means there’s a list of people he has to get back in touch with.
Yet he’s already set four of his official visits in the middle of February.
“I really just think those are like the main schools that are contacting me,” he said. “That’s helped me set them all up quickly.”
Here are a few quick need-to-knows about Calhoun and his recruiting:
- Calhoun has set four of his five official visits. He aims to knock all of those out in June. Georgia requested and got his first official on the first weekend of June. That’s becoming a program norm for the two-time reigning national champions.
- The Bulldogs were the first school to offer Calhoun and it is clear that still means something to him. UGA was at least a week ahead of his next offer from Georgia Tech.
- Alabama will get his second official visit. That will be on the very next weekend from June 9-11.
- “That is just like their development really and they have the winning culture over there,” when asked why Alabama stands out to him. “Their offensive line coach, Eric Wolford, has also put a lot of guys in the NFL and I think he was in the NFL once.”
- The Volunteers of Tennessee are up next. They will get that June 16-18 slot. “I talked to coach Josh Heupel yesterday,” Calhoun said on Friday. “We were just chopping it up. How was Walton? How was the transition? Just that kind of stuff.”
- “They’ve been recruiting me hard,” he added about the Vols. “I talk to them about every week so we really have that relationship already really. Really tight.”
- Texas has the last official visit on the final weekend in June. That has a lot to do with offensive line coach Kyle Flood. “He’s a really good offensive line coach,” Calhoun said. “He came from “Bama. Puts a lot of offensive linemen in the league. Their past recruiting class is really good, too. That was the one with Arch Manning.”
- What does he feel about the timing there? “Get them done during the summer and probably commit during the season,” Daniel Calhoun said.
- These schools are the four that have caught his eye the most right now. He will take a fifth official visit, but he is sorting through a mix of schools including Clemson, Florida, Miami and Ohio State.
- The Miami Hurricanes have really picked up their interest “hard” of late.
- “I’m definitely looking at coaches, players, facilities and people around the campus also,” he said. “Those are probably the main things I am looking at for the right school that I will choose.”
- “Development and the relationships with the players and coaches,” he said when asked about what he pays attention to on every visit that will play a key role. “The people around the campus.”
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Daniel Calhoun: The things to know here about UGA here
Calhoun has been a front-row visitor in the west end zone bleachers since his sophomore year. The Bulldogs had him way up front for a few games during the 2021 season.
He said this past fall that the Tennessee game was one of his best visits. He’d never heard Sanford Stadium that loud.
He’s been an in-state priority for some time. He was also present at the national championship celebration on the first Saturday after the natty win against TCU.
How does Calhoun feel about the ‘Dawgs?
“I really like Georgia,” Calhoun said. “They were the first ones to offer me. I really like them. They are not to far away from home. Good relationships with the coaches. Coach [Kirby] Smart is really fun. Really good. He’s an amazing coach. Good guy.”
Culture is what stands out the most to Calhoun about UGA. That’s what he likes the best.
“Probably just the culture there and the way they develop offensive linemen really well,” Calhoun said. “Andrew Thomas he came from Georgia. He’s doing really well in the league right now.”
He can then point to Jamaree Salyer as a terrific rookie starting LT in the NFL despite being a sixth-round pick to play guard. There’s also the projection there for Broderick Jones to go high in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
He said line coach Stacy Searels has mentioned tackle with great frequency but has also brought up playing some at guard.
“He just says ‘Come be a ‘Dawg’ and that’s it,” Calhoun said. “He wants me to come and he wants to help me get better.”
Calhoun said that Smart “keeps it real” in their conversations.
“He really wants me to be a ‘Dawg, too,” Calhoun said.
The 4-star OT was impressed by the championship celebration back in January.
“It was crazy,” Calhoun said. “It was pretty cold, but there were still a lot of people there. It was a lot of people. It was really fun. I talked to some of their players. Other recruits were there, but it was really fun. It was pretty cool.”
He does not see the offensive coordinator transition from Todd Monken to Mike Bobo affecting the team’s offense all that much.
“I think Georgia will be really good,” Calhoun said. “Coach Bobo, he’s been there before. He knows how to control the offense really.”
What kind of player is Daniel Calhoun?
Let’s answer that question by first checking out his junior film below.
He’s the type of massive human that UGA has had a lot of success with over the years. That body type of the Tate Ratledge and Xavier Truss types. Those guys came to Athens as tackles but wound up playing a lot early as guards.
The main thing for Calhoun here is just the mindset.
“Really just trying to maul defenders really,” Calhoun said. “I try to put them on their backs. Really just try to make my quarterback feel safe and make sure my running back can find big enough holes.”
Ashton Woods, another strong in-state 2024 prospect at Walton this year, was excited to welcome Calhoun to the team this semester.
“Heck of a player but we also get another tackle,” Walton rising senior linebacker Ashton Woods said. “We not only get another great offensive tackle for the run game but Jeremy gets more time in the pocket.”
Woods, the younger brother of former Bulldog Dominick Blaylock, was referring to 3-star Wake Forest QB commitment Jeremy Hecklinski with that.
“When Jeremy gets more time to throw in the pocket, he can launch it downfield with the best of them. That’s what he does best. Throwing it in tight windows. Daniel is going to make our pass game way better and also shoot we can run behind him all day.”
It was a funny sight on his first day of school. There was Hecklinski, the starting QB, showing his new All-American blind side protector all around Walton High School.
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The term “hard worker” gets used a lot with Daniel Calhoun
He’s worn that No. 71 since he was in elementary school. He started out as a guard his freshman year at Centennial and then moved to tackle as he got acclimated.
Calhoun and Woods have basically grown up around each other in the same class. They’ve been to the FBU camps and all the prospect and showcase camps coming up.
Woods knew Calhoun was a major college talent, but he’s learned even more about him just by watching him assimilate into the Walton program every day.
“He’s a hard worker,” Woods said. “He always busts his butt. Always a great kid. Always checking in on you. You’d think he’s a big mean dude but he’s a giant teddy bear.”
He knows a thing about having older brothers play major college football. Woods has seen two of his older brothers go off to Kentucky and then watched Blaylock be a part of two national championship teams at Georgia.
“Having older brothers to walk you through this process and what to look for in the right college is always a great thing,” Woods said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have that as well and it is really good. It really helps.”
Those two have known each other since middle school.
“The first thing that went through my mind when I heard Daniel was coming was that our defense is going to be able to give up a few more points because Daniel will give Jeremy more time to throw. That’s all he needs to put up more points is just a little more time to throw it. And he can be a 3-tech for us a little bit on defense.”
“No blockers are probably going to be touching me on defense on those downs.”
Calhoun has a unique motivator.
“Nobody in my family has gone to the league,” he said. “I want to be the first.”
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