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Behind the Facemask: John Calhoun

July 25, 2011


CORAL GABLES, Fla.–No dream comes true without sacrifice and these young men have worked to make their dream of playing at the U come true. Here are the men behind the sacrifice…

John Calhoun | Tight End | Junior | Micco, Fla.

Dance classes are really relaxing. They really help you stretch, loosen up, and get going with your day. I usually like to take them in the morning, so you can start off nice and get ready to go the rest of the day.

I’m a team leader in dance class. The teacher would try to get the class to pay attention and no one would listen, so I tried to get everyone together to focus. One time when we were doing the final dance, I got the lead role by yelling, “Places, people!” and my teacher loved it.

Playing football has given me a lot of opportunities to go out there and show what I got, and to really excel at the college level with academics.

People might be surprised to know that I can pretty much do anything. I listen to all types of music, I can do anything work-related and I can study anything. I’m an all-around guy.

I’m a Hurricane because I loved the U tradition growing up. When I went to high school, my high school coach was Randy Bethel, who used to play tight end here on two national championship teams. He inspired me with his work ethic, so it carried on from high school into college.

My favorite thing about being part of the U Family is just being part of a major institution that produces NFL-type players, who always come back and are in the weight room. Just seeing the riches they have, the glory, I would love to get there one day.

Seeing the NFL players come back is kind of like a shock at first. You know, that’s actually them, the guys you only see on television. The thing with me is I’m not good with faces, so I’ll ask who people are, and when they tell me, I can’t believe it.

At the U, I’ve learned so much from the university in general, in both academics and athletics.
I’m afraid of snakes. I don’t like snakes.

I never thought that four years would go by so quick.

The best advice I get is from Coach Swasey, who is always a man of his word. Before we lift, he always gives us a speech. His speeches are some of the most inspiring speeches and true speeches you could ever hear.

I was raised a hard worker, for sure. Growing up on a farm, I would wake up early in the morning, feed the horses, clean the stalls, give them their hay, and fill up the water buckets. I was raised that way, to work hard and not take anything for granted.

I’m the youngest of three. I have one brother and one sister. We’re all a year apart. My sister is a captain of an oilrig ship, and my brother is a surfer back in Sebastian (Fla.), but he’s going to school for graphic design. We never fight, any of us. Other families ask us how we never fight, but with brotherhood and sisterhood, you have to protect each other. There’s no reason to fight each other.

The most influential people in my life are both my parents. They’re always giving me advice, pushing me, and always told me I could do whatever I wanted but that I have to work hard at it. I’ve pretty much been working hard my whole life, I’ve worked for everything I’ve had, so I’m happy.

I was raised in Fort Lauderdale, but after seventh grade I moved up to Sebastian, Florida. When I lived down here, one of my best friends, A.J., his whole family was a big Gator family. I started liking the Gators because of that. When I moved up to Sebastian, I moved away from my friends and didn’t have that influence on me. At the end of your eighth grade year, you’re allowed to work out at the high school. I worked out with Coach Bethel, I saw what he was all about, and he was always preaching the U and the stuff he and his boys did. I really came to like the University of Miami all throughout high school. I worked hard, played hard in the games, and one day Coach Bethel told me if I worked hard the next game, he thought I would probably get what I wanted. I was offered.
It was crazy. When I heard I got the offer. Coach Shannon had called my parents. That was the biggest thing coming home. My mom was so ecstatic, both my parents were really proud of me. It was fun.

When I was six years old, I had a bowl cut. I had bleached blonde hair. (laughs)
Other than football, I’m talented at surfing, wakeboarding and fishing. I’m well-versed in the water.

The song that no one would believe I have on my iPod is something by Iceberg. He’s a local Miami rapper. Sometimes I’ll spit some of the rhymes, and the guys on the team can’t believe it, they’ll say, “How do you know about that?” (laughs)

My favorite place to visit is Orlando. I love staying in the Hard Rock or a hotel like that with family and friends. There’s something about it that I love.

Becoming a man was graduating from high school early, enrolling in the spring of 2008. Going from living at home straight to living in the dorms, eating everyday on my own and making up my own schedule. It was good, though. It got me organized, it got me focused, and I’ve gotten better and better and become more and more of a man.

I hope to hold a legacy of being one of the best athletes to come out of here, as well as one of the most academically suited individuals who was able to strive and reach for his goals and everything he wanted to accomplish.


Make sure to check in for a new Behind the Facemask profile each and everyday in preparation for the Hurricane football season opener. For a review of all past profiles, check out Behind the Facemask Central.