Louisiana-Monroe received a verbal commitment earlier this week from multi-faceted Westgate High senior Keydrain Calligan, who plans to play both football and basketball in college.
An all-state guard on the Westgate basketball team, Calligan is also the reigning Class 4A state champion in the triple jump.
It was his prowess in football, however, the ultimately drew attention from ULM, which extended a scholarship offer to Calligan during spring training.
“He loves basketball,” WHS head basketball coach and assistant head football coach Oliver Winston said of Calligan.
“That’s his first love. Then he started playing football and last year, I think he saw where his potential could be, and he started taking it more seriously.”
Although Calligan didn’t participate in organized football until recently, he’s a natural on the gridiron.
“Now he’s morphed into a Division I defensive back that people like because of his athletic ability,” Winston said. “He’s a good kid, a smart kid who works hard, and he has great athleticism.”
Being relatively new to football, Calligan could have a tremendous upside.
“He probably hasn’t even come close to his potential,” Winston said. “These last couple of years, he’s really kind of found himself and gotten into a good rhythm of working out and doing good things.
“I think that’s why he’s seeing the kind of success he’s having. He’s seeing some dividends of the work he’s put in.”
Westgate reached the semifinals in basketball during Calligan’s sophomore season and advanced to the quarterfinals earlier this year.
“He’s been a very big part of our success in basketball,” Winston said. “Anyone who gets him is going to see benefits because he is a game-changer with his ability.
“He’s one of those few kids where I don’t think we’ve seen anything close to his ceiling yet, because every time he does something, you think, ‘Wow! That was really athletic,’ and then three days later he’s doing even more than that.”
Winston said Calligan’s pure speed sets him apart from other defensive backs.
“That’s his biggest attribute on the field,” Winston said. “With his speed, he has the ability to run down people. He has a good eye for the ball and can come downhill and hit people.”
Louisiana Tech and South Alabama both offered a football scholarship to Calligan, who woke up with the Warhawks on his mind Sunday.
“I woke up that morning and knew I was ready to commit,” he said.
“I asked their coaches if I could commit to their school, and they were excited.”