Calvin Adjusting to SEC Pace

One of Mississippi State's biggest wins on the recruiting trail for the 2015 cycle was the victory over Auburn for Co-Lin defensive end Jonathan Calvin. Sought as a plug and play pass rusher, Calvin had several options. With only two practices remaining in his first spring as a Bulldog, Calvin is happy with his progress and his decision to stay in state for his college career.

Jonathan Calvin profile

"I've gotten comfortable," Calvin said of his indoctrination into SEC football. "I know the schemes and I know the playbook. I'm getting some chemistry with the other players. I am getting to know them. Everything is going good."

While Calvin excelled during his two years at Co-Lin under the direction of Coach Glenn Davis, making the jump to the toughest league in all of college football has brought its' share of challenges.

"The toughest things have been the playbook and the tempo," Calvin admitted. "That's just part of the transition of being in a new system. The speed of the game is going to be there everyday. It's something you have to get used to. I am learning to work even harder now."

Defensive line coach David Turner has several talented players in his personnel group. All of the returning players have worked with Calvin to help him settle into the Bulldog culture. One defensive end in particular has served as a bit of a mentor.

"I watch A.J. Jefferson a lot," Calvin said. "I've been watching him since I got here. He's a guy that always works hard. He has technique down and he knows blocks. That's really helped me.

"When I first got here, I didn't really know my blocks. We would be in the film room and they would call out blocks. I told Coach Turner I didn't know them. I was used to just playing with my speed and a little technique. There's a lot to learn and I am learning something new ever single day."

With a crowded depth chart, Mississippi State has some options on the defensive line. Calvin expects to be a player who has the chance to make an impact this fall harassing quarterbacks.

"I think I am going to be a pass rusher," Calvin said. "I know I can get after the quarterback. I can run stop too, because I have put on a little weight. Coach Turner is working with me and telling me to get to the spot first. Sometimes, I get out there and I dance try to get inside. On Saturday, you saw me getting off of the ball and running right around the tackle. That is what he really wants from me. He said right now, he just wants me to get up field and we can work on everything else later."

As the final snaps of spring are taken, Calvin is putting together a to do list for his own personal growth this summer.

"I want to get my 'get off' better and I have to have great vision," Calvin said. "I can't get caught up looking at the wrong thing. I have to visualize my primary keys. First I have to look at the tackle. If the tackle blocks down, then I have to know if a pulling guard is coming. There is a lot that I am learning and I am getting it altogether."

The Bulldogs have some talented players for the 2016 signing class from Wesson who either play or have some connections to Co-Lin. Calvin has been their man on the inside passing along valuable intelligence to help them prepare for a future at Mississippi State.

"Most of those guys come up here every weekend," Calvin said. "Farrod Green, Deshon Cooper and Leo (Lewis) comes. I've been telling them that they better get ready to work hard. These workouts aren't anything like we had at Co-Lin. I know a lot of players that would have just walked out of the weight room up here. We work harder up here than I ever have. We have done some stuff."

Calvin and the rest of the Bulldogs will be in action this Saturday in the annual Mississippi State spring game. Kickoff is slated for 11 A.M. this Saturday.


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