Daniel Calvin is from California, and growing up in Bakersfield he naturally always wanted to play football at USC.
So this weekend’s trip out to Los Angeles will hold special meaning for the Kansas State senior defensive lineman. He’s going back to his home state to play in a stadium he always wanted to play in (the Rose Bowl) and face off against a team he always wanted to play (UCLA).
Sure, he won’t be wearing the loud colors he envisioned himself wearing as a youngster, but he’s thrilled at how everything turned out. Even though he’s dreamed about USC since childhood, he’s thought very highly of K-State since high school.
“I always wanted to be a SC Trojan,” he said. “But I had an older person I’m real cool with. He went to my high school and everything. He came to K-State the 03 season when he won the Big 12. I’ve always been jealous of him for that. I was thinking what if I ever went to K-State. It’s just a coincidence that I’m here.”
That “older person” would be James McGill, who you may remember as a starting defensive back on the memorable Wildcats team that upset Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.
Like Calvin, he grew up in Bakersfield and attended Bakersfield College before transferring to Kansas State.
Will McGill be there on Saturday to watch Calvin take the field? Calvin didn’t say. But he will have lots of friends and family in attendance. Between 40 or 50, he guesses.
“I’m fired up,” he said. “Sunny skies of California, can’t wait.”