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franklin county times

Calloway transfers to JUCO in Arizona

File photo Former Russellville Golden Tiger Brent Caloway (21) makes a carry against rival Muscle Shoals during the 2010 season. Calloway will now play for Arizona Western College.
File photo
Former Russellville Golden Tiger Brent Caloway (21) makes a carry against rival Muscle Shoals during the 2010 season. Calloway will now play for Arizona Western College.

Brent Calloway was a standout at Russellville High School during his years as a Golden Tiger.

His athletic prowess led him to sign with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and thanks to his time with their storied program, Calloway knows what it’s like to be a national champion.

However, Calloway was plagued by off the field issues during his time at the university. After a student robbery at the University of Alabama Calloway used a student debit card that had been stolen, which later led to him being let go from the team and the university.

“Things just happened,” Calloway said.  “I’m not going to put the blame on anyone. I’ll put the blame on myself, if anything, before I try to blame anybody else.

“I wasn’t directly involved in it, but there could have been better decision making on my part, so that’s where I feel I was still wrong, because I didn’t make the right decision at the right time.”

After the Crimson Tide released Calloway, he became a hot commodity for a transfer to another program for programs across the nation.

“There were many schools that recruited me,” he said. “I talked to multiple schools. At first it was bigger schools that contacted me, but after I found out I would have to sit for one year it was smaller schools that contacted me.

“A lot of JUCOs called. Almost every JUCO in California called me. A lot of schools from Arizona and Mississippi called me.

“I’ve talked to a lot of coaches. I want to say it was 20 or 30 different places.”

Calloway will now be suiting up for Arizona Western College, a community college in Yuma, Ariz.

“They have a big program,” Calloway said. “They were the runner-up in the championship game last year, and they haven’t fell short any years.

“They do a good job of getting players out (to larger schools). There is a running back from Michigan State that told me he was coming there, so I’m linking up with a few players now.”

If that name seems a bit familiar to Crimson Tide fans, it is because the late Aaron Douglas and former Tide standout Jesse Williams spent time there before transferring to Alabama.

While Calloway may not have left Alabama on his own terms, he still feels like attending the university was a good experience for him.

“It was a great opportunity to play there,” he said. “I hope that folks don’t think that what happened reflects on anyone else on the team. It really doesn’t.

“Everything that happened that night is not a reflection on the Alabama program.”

The young man now changes his focus to Arizona Western, where he will have a chance to once again play the sport that got him to the Crimson Tide.

“I called and talked to the coach,” he said. “It seemed like a good fit, so I figured why not. I feel like I will do well there.

“I feel like I will be an asset to the team, and we’ll be successful. I don’t feel like the move will hinder me, and I feel I can get there and change my status a little bit.

“It will give me a chance to get away from everything and focus on what I’m trying to do with my life.”

Calloway may have found himself a new team to play for, but he is certain that he does not want to repeat the same mistakes that made Alabama part company with him earlier this year.

“I definitely have to watch my surroundings and be mindful of what’s going on around me,” he said. “I need to make better decisions on my own.

“I won’t have all of the friends I had at Alabama, but I will focus on being more humble and what I’ve got to do there.”

Russellville used Calloway mainly as a running back and linebacker, and Alabama saw the young man mainly as a linebacker that could carry the ball if need be.

The role he will take at Arizona Western is not yet clear, but an athlete of his caliber will likely have a chance to show off his skills during the upcoming season.

“I don’t know what position(s) I will play yet,” he said. “I can’t say for sure right now, but I know this is a new opportunity for me.

“I think I’ll be playing a little bit of everything. They haven’t told me yet. Coach told me punt return, kick return and maybe receiver.

“It sounds like I will get a chance to play pretty much whatever I want to play.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove of things and picking up where I left off.”