Givens makes his presence felt

Big and athletic offensive lineman are sought-after by every D-1 program in the country and one of the top tackles in the JC ranks this year is Holmes OT Karlin Givens (6-4, 290). He was named to the Mississippi All-Combine team and he's been working hard at his conditioning in preparation for a big 2007 season.

"It's tough down here in Mississippi because of the heat and humidity, but I've really been focused on my conditioning and strength," Givens told recently. "My conditioning was pretty good last year, but this year I want to be fresh late in the game and be able to get down field to block for our backs as the game goes on."

Givens and his Holmes teammates began two-a-days this past week and he said he's already noticed the difference.

"I'm a lot fresher and I feel like that will give me an edge this fall," Givens said. "They work us hard down here and me and (defensive end) Larry Hart have be going up against each other a lot.

"We battle all the time and we pick each other out in one-on-ones and just battle all day. It makes both of us better and it just prepares us for what we're going to go through every weekend in our conference."

Givens was recruited pretty heavily out of Ridgeland High School in Mississippi, but several of the major programs recruiting him backed off when it became apparent he wouldn't qualify.

"I had a lot of schools looking at me, but my grades made it so I wouldn't qualify," Givens said taking responsibility for his problems in the classroom. "I didn't really take things that seriously until my senior year and it came back to cause me some problems.

"I was playing ball and just loving what I was doing and wasn't really thinking about the future as much as I should have, but I'm set now and I'll finish in December because I've really gotten serious about things. I don't want to miss out again."

After starting every game and playing every down at Holmes as a freshman, Givens has suitors from several programs who have shown him enough attention to make his favorites list.

"At this point, Ole Miss, Ohio, Kansas State and Memphis are the schools recruiting me the hardest," Givens said. "I've got a lot of mail from a bunch of other schools, but those are the four that really seem to be serious about wanting me and getting me to come and play for them."

Givens said he's adept at both aspects of the game – run and pass blocking – but said his quickness and speed make him an ideal pass-protecter.

"Most lineman my size can't get out like I do," Givens said confidently. "My coaches said my footwork is really quick and that just allows me to get out on speed rushers and to get into position for the bull-rush or power guys."

Givens' talents also warranted him being named to the Mississippi All-Combine team this past May when he put up solid numbers – a 5.3 forty time, a 4.98 shuttle time, a 26-inch vertical and he bench-pressed 225 pounds 22 times.

As mentioned earlier, Givens plans to graduate in December and will have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll have more from Givens after the start of the season.

Karlin Givens Scout Profile

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