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May 24, 2007Jermie Calhoun is at the top.
Calhoun, the 6-foot, 210-pound East Texas running back, found out this week that not only would he be named amongst the five-stars, but also would be the top-rated Lone Star State prospect in the Rivals100. Other prospects that were ranked at the top in Texas over the last few years by Rivals.com include Adrian Peterson and Vince Young.
The quiet Calhoun says the honor will only push him to work even harder.
"You know, it makes me feel good," Calhoun said. "I'm glad that I'm a five star, and I guess it starts putting on the pressure. Now, I have to live up to it. But I like the pressure. I go harder when I've got that pressure."
Calhoun says up until last year, he didn't pay much attention to the rankings. When he did find out, he wasn't pushing himself for a lofty rating. Calhoun says he was just doing what he did best and putting in that extra work.
"Some of my abilities came naturally, like my speed," Calhoun said. "My uncle ran track and a lot of my family were track stars. But my power and quick feet, that just came from working extra hard over the summer. I can make people miss."
He has done exactly that since his freshman season. As a sophomore and a junior, he rushed for more than 1,500 yards each season while totaling more than 50 touchdowns over those two years.
However, since making his commitment to Oklahoma in early March, there hasn't been any pressure in terms of recruiting.
There were several factors that not only led to his decision, but also that keep him solid.
"Academics were a big part of it, but also how close it was to home and how the community was there," Calhoun said. "It's not a big population of people. It's a small town like where I'm coming from. I felt more comfortable there though more than anything else.
"It's a lot easier now. I can focus on my schoolwork and my workouts. I can relax and I'm excited."
Calhoun says he'll still get text messages from time to time from other schools, but has no intention of looking around. As one of the nation's top running backs, he still has more things he'd like to achieve.
"I'm trying to get to the level where I can be like Walter Payton some day," Calhoun said. "I just like his style of running and how he worked hard in everything that he did."