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Trenchmen’s Corner: The first look at the Big Green’s Offensive Guard, Calvin Atkeson!

Dartmouth offensive lineman Calvin Atkeson is a player that former CFL scout Dave Van Nett is high on. Check out his Trenchmen's Corner.
Dartmouth offensive lineman Calvin Atkeson is a player that former CFL scout Dave Van Nett is high on. Check out his Trenchmen’s Corner.

Red-shirt senior Calvin Atkeson is a 6’6” 300-pound sleeping monster on the offensive line at Dartmouth College.  Joining the Big Green in 2018 as a true freshman he spent the season with the JV team getting acclimated to the program.  In 2019 his primary role was on special teams where they converted 43 for 43 PAT’s.  Calvin also spent a lot of time on the field at both right and left guard, which was a transition from his original recruitment as a left tackle.  Calvin’s abilities on the offensive line made the transition from tackle to guard a relatively easy one.  A big reason Calvin has had so much success on the offensive line was his high school mentor, Marques Ogden a retired NFL veteran who took Calvin under his wing and helped build him up.

During film study on Calvin from the 2019 season, Calvin Atkeson showed both some great promise and a couple of rookie moments in his gameplay.  With the 2020 Ivy League season canceled I watched all of the 2019 games to evaluate Calvin as a true sophomore.  Here is what I saw:

Positives:

o   Very explosive off the snap

o   Hits and drives low on the defender

o   He has a deep and balanced stance

o   Utilizes leverage very well – he doesn’t over exert himself

o   Both inside/outside zone blocking is strong

o   Works with his teammates very well

o   His head is always on a swivel

o   Blitz pick up is solid

Needs to work on

o   At times his hands will get wide on a defenders shoulders

o   His footwork could be cleaned up a little bit but overall decent

o   Overall game experience at the college level

In several of the games, I watched Calvin log several pancake blocks.  His aggressiveness is at an appropriate level as well.  Calvin has the uncanny ability to manhandle defenders to places where they don’t want to be.  Calvin is very strong and it shows in his run blocking.  His pass protection technique comes from Marques Ogden and is extremely effective.  The technique taught to Calvin was as he kicked to the right he will keep his upper body slightly left in order to maintain balance and to ensure he doesn’t get overextended in his kick step.  It also allows for a much faster and more powerful redirect kick step.

I am looking forward to seeing Calvin continue to grow and dominate the Ivy League over the next two seasons.  In the 2021 season, I would love to see Calvin come alive. I described him as a sleeping monster, and I truly believe that if the coaches let him, he will be a dominant figure at guard and a leader among his teammates.

On a historical note, Calvin is a two-time NC State heavyweight champion in wrestling and earned an NC State Football Championship ring in his sophomore year, 2015.  Calvin logged over 100 wins as a wrestler and finished fourth at Nationals in his senior year.  His athleticism comes from his family.  His father wrestled at Haverford, his mother played field hockey at William & Mary, his older brother played football at Amherst, and his grandfather was an athlete at Susquehanna in the 1960s.  Calvin has athletics in his DNA.  But, he is not just an athlete, Calvin is extremely smart as well, he didn’t get offers from three Ivy League schools just for athletics, Calvin is an Applied Mathematics Major as well. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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