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Mississippi State Football 2013 Impact Players: No. 6, Taveze Calhoun

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The sophomore product of Morton surprised many when he was listed as the starter at CB opposite of Jameson Love earlier in the week. Can he live up to expectations, and is he ready for the big test the first week against Oklahoma State?

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

When the game notes were released earlier in the week for the big week one matchup against Oklahoma State, I think many of us were surprised to see sophomore corner Taveze Calhoun listed at a starting cornerback position.

Many, including myself, expected Justin Cox's name to be in that spot, yet here we are with Calhoun and Jamerson Love named the week one starters at the corner positions heading into the first Saturday of the season.

The biggest question following that announcement is not why Cox isn't a starter, it's what Calhoun must have done to earn that spot.  Even though Taveze is only a sophomore, and even though we know little about him (he play in all 13 games last year, totalling 24 tackles and a forced fumble), the upside is clearly there, and in a wide open race, he seized one of the two starting spots.

Dan Mullen told the media that he'd play anywhere from four to five corners this weekend, so there is still plenty of opportunity for someone else to come up and seize that spot from Taveze.  But for Mullen and Deshea Townsend, a former NFL corner himself, to have the confidence in Calhoun to start him, then we as State fans have to be pretty excited about that fact.

I'm excited to see what Calhoun will bring to the table Saturday afternoon, and if State is to replace some big pieces in the defensive backfield, pieces that themselves are getting ready to start in the NFL as rookies, then they'll need Calhoun to step up and become a big part of the new backside of Geoff Collins' attacking defense.