Late last week, after publicly stating that he was transferring to the University of Wisconsin, Brian Calhoun spent a couple days in Madison, watching summer workouts and hanging out with his new teammates. In 2005, Calhoun will be an integral part of Wisconsin's offense, part of a tailback rotation that will try to make up for the loss of star Anthony Davis, who will play out his senior season this fall.
Last week, though, Calhoun was not worried about what could come to fruition a year from now.
"All I'm really worried about is I'm just trying to get to know all the new teammates that I have," Calhoun said. "When that time comes around to start talking football we'll do that. But I'm just enjoying meeting the guys and being up there."
Calhoun, Colorado's leading rusher last season, has time. He will join the Badgers when they begin practices at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Center in Madison Aug. 11. Per NCAA rules, however, he must redshirt and will have two years eligibility remaining in 2005.
This season, Calhoun will patiently wait his turn and make what he foresees as a relatively simple transition.
"For one thing I'm not coming in like a freshman, trying to play right away," Calhoun said. "I definitely have time to observe the system and really learn it inside and out. But I'm pretty sure we run kind of a version of what we ran in Colorado. They run a lot of outside zone and inside zone and stretch plays."
"I think it's not going to take that much time (to adjust)," he added. "I mean, I came in as a freshman and played the first game for Colorado and that's in two weeks. I think I'll be able to learn (the system) real fast; it's just I'm not in a rush. So I should be OK for next fall."
As a freshman at Colorado, Calhoun played behind Chris Brown, now with the Tennessee Titans, and Bobby Purify. "Now I get to come to the Big Ten and I see Anthony Davis and he's widely considered one of the best backs the last couple years," Calhoun said. "I'm definitely privileged to be able to practice behind him and see what he does to make him so good. It definitely will help me in 2005."
Next season, Calhoun could become be the Badgers' featured back. He ran for 810 yards and caught 32 passes for Colorado last season and will play along side his friend and then-fellow Badger junior tailback Booker Stanley. Dwayne Smith, who is facing a September trial on rape charges, could also be a part of that mix.
"I think I definitely can bring a lot to the team," Calhoun said. "I played two years of competitive football in the Big 12. I played some pretty good teams. I think I could bring a lot to (Wisconsin) in 2005. Of course, Anthony Davis is gone so I think I could bring a little bit to the running back rotation that we probably would have in two years."
What does Calhoun think of his place in that possible rotation?
"I think we all have different styles," he said. "That's a no brainer. I think (I) can definitely do a lot of things out of the backfield as far as catching the ball or even you could move me out and I could catch the ball.
"And also I think I could bring kind of the same speed that Anthony Davis does on the corner but I also can do good on screens or anything like that. I think I can bring a little bit of variety to the backfield."
Calhoun can also add something to the Badger track team, for which he will run the 100 meters, 200 meters sand the 400 relay. He has run a 10.52 in the 100 and a 21.18 in the 200. The 400 relay, which won the Big Ten outdoor championship last spring, will be a prime competitor for a national championship in 2005. The team will feature Demi Omole and Antonio Freeman, two of the top junior sprinters in the country.
"I think we have a lot of guys who could run for us," Calhoun said. "I think the addition with Freeman and now that I can join the mix and Omole's running faster than ever. It wouldn't be a surprise if we were in the finals of the championship next year. There's no reason why we couldn't."
Calhoun intent on patience
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