Calcote moving again

Published 12:01 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

NATCHEZ — Former Trinity Episcopal standout and current Northwestern State University offensive lineman Larry Calcote moved from right tackle to guard this season and turned himself into an All-Southland Conference Second Team performer.

Next season Calcote is eyeing first team All-Conference, but he will again have to do it from a different position as he plans to move from guard to left tackle before the 2012 campaign.

“Last year was an interesting year,” Calcote said. “It was my first year at guard. I had never played guard before, and I guess I did good. (Making second-team) was a great achievement, but I’m not satisfied with it. The goal is to be first team. But it was a good achievement for switching positions.”

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Calcote said the biggest adjustments for him were gaining weight to play interior lineman and adjusting his playing style.

“At first I struggled with my weight a little,” he said. “I gained 15 pounds, and I was lighter before and used it for quickness. At guard you have to be more physical and tackle is working in space. At guard it’s 6 inches and may the best man win. So the biggest adjustment for me was going from finesse to a knuckle-to-knuckle blocker.”

Calcote said he got a test at the position he will play in 2012 in the final game of the 2011 season against Stephen F. Austin, and he believed he fared well.

“One highlight was my first game at left tackle in the last game of the season,” he said. “They had an All-American (defensive end), and it was my first time at the position. They told me every play we are going to drop back and pass, and I didn’t give up a single sacak.”

Calcote said that performance gave him confidence going into next season.

“I was very ecstatic about that,” he said. “The sky’s the limit for me.”

Calcote said he did not allow any sacks when the Demons faced LSU this season, as well, and that was another highlight of his season.

Another position change means another adjustment this offseason, which includes adding more weight, Calcote said.

“I’m 290 and I want to get close to 300,” he said. “Another position change shows my versatility, and I’m working on improving my footwork, strength and getting better with my hands.”

Calcote said he would thrive on playing the most important position on the offensive line next season.

“I’m one of those people that like that pressure,” he said. “It’s one of the most important positions on the offensive line, and I like that pressure. It will make me work to be the best I can be. I’m up for the challenge, and I have all the tools to excel at the position.”

Calcote said he would compare himself to twin brothers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, who starred at Florida and are currently both in the NFL.

“Even though they play center I like their style of play,” he said. “They are both big tall guys that move like tight ends.”

Calcote said his schedule prevents him from making it back to Natchez to see Trinity play, but he still has fond memories and well wishes for his former team.

“I’ve been so busy with school and ball, it’s hard to get back,” he said. “But I heard they had a great year, and it’s nice about (Tip McKenzie) committing to Vanderbilt. It’s a great honor for kids from the school to go to the SEC. I wish I could come coach around with the guys some, but I’m too busy.”

Calcote said he is currently studying Kinesiology and wants to go to physical therapy school.

“I’m studying, because I want to help athletes and people in recovery,” he said. “I saw that when I had surgery on my knee, and I saw the kind of work they do. I saw it was something that I wanted to do.”

But Calcote said his ultimate goal is the NFL.

Until then, Calcote’s sights are set on improving on the Demon’s 5-6 record this season.

“We were doing great but just didn’t finish strong,” he said. “We are a young team and still growing.”

Northwestern State was 5-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play before dropping its final three games.

“It’s my senior year, and we expect a (conference) championship and even a national (championship),” he said. “We should have a pretty good team. My 2009 recruiting class was No. 1 in FCS, and we’re all seniors now, so the sky’s the limit.”