It turned out to be quite the exciting weekend for University of Arkansas football commit Ryan Calendar from start to finish.
To start with the 6-8, 235-pound Calendar – a tight end/defensive end prospect from Caddo Mills, Texas - took a short opening kickoff all the way back for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the 2008 season on Friday night.
Then he found himself in the stands Saturday night in Fayetteville cheering on his future college team as it rallied from 10 points down to whip Western Illinois 28-24 before 70,000-plus fans at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
"The atmosphere was great," Calendar said Sunday afternoon. I've never seen that many people in one place in my life. The most I have played for in my life was 8,000 people so being in a place with 80,000 or so packed in was just amazing. I really loved how much the fans were into it."
The Leathernecks actually led the Razorbacks 24-14 with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
"I was a little worried there for a little bit, but the fans just all started cheering again and the team took care of business," Calendar said. "I knew they would pull it out."
In addition to no doubt etching his name as one of the biggest kick returners to ever take one to the house, Calendar also had 6 catches for 62 yards in the Foxes' 28-0 win over Gunter.
He also led a defense that forced 8 punts, two turnovers and allowed Gunter just 87 yards total offense on the night.
"Things went really well for us and I thought it was one of the best games that I have ever played myself," Calendar said.
The Foxes are coming off a 12-1 season in 2007 and expecting big things this campaign.
"We are picked to win the Class 2A small school state title," Calendar said. "We just have to keep working hard."
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