Derik Calhoun is a highly-rated outside linebacker prospect from El Cerrito (Calif.) High School. He's receiving a lot of interest from teams on the West Coast, but could draw looks from teams across the country as we get closer to National Signing Day.
Calhoun stands only 6'0, but he weighs in at a solid 215 pounds. He's rated as a four-star recruit by 247 and Rivals, and is not yet rated by ESPN and Scout. He's listed in the top 150 of all prospects in the 2014 recruiting class and among the top 10 outside linebacker prospects nationally. 247 also has him among the top 15 prospects in the state of California, regardless of position.
As of late April, Calhoun already has an impressive list of offers, including UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, Oregon State, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
Derrell Warren, SB Nation West Coast Recruiting Analyst (@yssd): Derik Calhoun is one of the most explosive linebacker recruits on the West Coast. Despite being less than optimum size, he is physical. He primarily lines up at the "Mike" position, but his game film also shows him flanked out as a "Sam" linebacker on occasion.
From B-gap to B-gap, Calhoun displays a great short area burst and explosive, violent hands when disengaging from blockers. He tracks the ball well and is explosive on contact. Although he does well in tight areas shedding offensive linemen, he needs to become more adept at slipping blockers. This is primarily due to the fact that his strength likely won't translate as well once he gets to the next level.
Calhoun doesn't always take the most efficient routes to the ball when defending perimeter runs, but his play speed and short-area burst usually compensate for any false steps. He is a powerful tackler who plays with great leverage. He uses his powerful core strength to drive through ball carriers, surrendering very little yards after contact.
His film doesn't feature him in coverage a lot. But it's worth noting that in the few clips that show him defending the pass, he appears relatively comfortable dropping back into space to his assigned zone.
His eventual ceiling might be a bit limited considering his frame (6'0 with a narrow hip and shoulder base) isn't conducive for a large amount of future growth. Regardless, Calhoun's sideline-to-sideline speed, athleticism and diagnostic skills give him the upside to be a multi-year starter for a BCS caliber program.
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.