Washington gone, future DB eyes opportunities

It's been awhile since Calvin Mickens declared that he was a Husker to be. He along with teammate Wallace Franklin announced their intention, thus the end of the story. In recruiting, though, that's never the end of the story, which is why the coaches take time to come by and talk to their future players. That's what head coach Bill Callahan and offensive coordinator Jay Norvell did yesterday as they continued their Texas tour.

Wallace Franklin and Calvin Mickens committed together, deciding that Nebraska was where they wanted to go. Similarly, the house head coach Bill Callahand and offensive coordinator Jay Norvell stopped at following their visit with Franklin was yes, Calvin Mickens'.

It was a chance to catch up on what's been happening, but for Calvin, it was a chance for his parents to meet his future coaches for the first time. "It was great that my family finally got a chance to meet coach Callahan," Calvin said. "They had a lot of questions they never got to ask, so it was really nice they could come by and visit."

The questions are typical of what any family would ask and as to the answers, Calvin said that his mother came off with a lot less worry about her little boy. "That's how moms are, he said. "She was real relieved to finally get all those questions answered and feels a lot better about my decision, the school, the academics, everything."

Both Franklin and Mickens had been given the typical schtick by the coaching staff, a very realistic impression that they could play fairly soon. If they were up to it and satisfied the coaches to that extent, they might even play right away.

Then, Fabian Washington opted for the NFL. That might have sped Mickens' clock up considerably as to just when his most serious shot will occur. "They told me about him going to the NFL," Calvin said. "But, they did say that I would still be playing both ways. I think my primary position will be at cornerback, but it sounds like I am going to see a lot of wide receiver to."

That's a double-duty that both Mickens and Wallace could end up doing as early as their freshman year, but Calvin doesn't think about the effort that is going to go into the job, rather he's just excited about the job itself. "I am so excited about getting there and seeing what I can do," he said. "You train, lift weights and do all the work, but you never really know how you are going to stack up until you actually get there and compete."

"I'm just ready to after it and do the best I can."

Both the Ozen high school teammates have one thing that makes them ideal if not a luxury for teams in need of cornerbacks: size. Both ranging around 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighing in at around 200 pounds, when you are looking at most cornerbacks lucky to even be at 6 foot, these two are at least potentially just what the doctor ordered.

The thing is, Calvin hasn't had his size tested per say as he's never faced anyone taller than him. Mickens coins an old phrase in saying that size simply doesn't matter, it's what you can do with that size. "There are lots of guys in the NFL not even 6 foot tall, he said. "You play your man like you would anyone no matter how tall he is and I'm able to jump with pretty much anyone."

Being 6 feet, 2 inches tall certainly doesn't hurt, but having a 38-inch vertical doesn't hurt either.

Mickens would say, though, that it's the game that you bring that matters in the end. "I could jump a mile and run like crazy, but if I don't know how to cover a guy, it's not going to do me much good," he said. "It's all about knowing how to play and play each guy you face differently. They don't all do the same things, so you have to be able to adjust to their strengths."

That is basically what Calvin has been thinking about as of late. When he's not working out and not back at school, he looks to the future in Lincoln and just thinks about what could be. Some of it is a little nerve wracking, but that's what has him going, because his time with the big red is his time to play with the big dogs and hopefully shine along the way.

"You can't predict the future and just what is going to happen," he said. "I am just going to work as hard as I can, do what I need to and see where that leads me. I expect to play, because I am going to work like crazy to make it happen, but when it actually happens, I am going to be pretty excited being out there."

"It's going to be a fun time."


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