Derik Calhoun has heard the same line so many times it's become frustrating: He's still too small and needs to get bigger to play at the highest level.
That was not the message he heard from the USC coaching staff during his junior day visit and it was definitely appealing to the four-star linebacker from El Cerrito, Calif.
Calhoun, rated as the No. 133 prospect in the 2014 class by Rivals.com, said he chatted with new USC linebackers coach Mike Ekeler and he was encouraged by the conversation.
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USC did not offer but Calhoun said the communication going forward will be positive.
"Once again, it was another linebackers coach that wasn't really tripping off my size," Calhoun said. "He liked the way I play, my flow in the game, my intensity, how I move to the ball quickly.
"I loved to hear that. People say I have to get up over 200 pounds, blah, blah, blah and I was 193 weighing in (Sunday) and I was 198 last month. I told everybody it doesn't matter, it comes from the heart and it's how you play. I like him a lot. He's a funny dude. He reminds me of coach (Jeff) Ulbrich from UCLA."
Calhoun, who visited with teammates Adarius Pickett, Jalen Harvey and close friend Joe Mixon, said he liked a lot about the USC trip and he hopes the Trojans continue to pursue him.
The football facilities definitely stood out.
"I would say there were a lot of things that really impressed me like the locker room, the facilities," Calhoun said. "I never knew how big their football facility was. I like the coaches a lot."
A summer camp trip might be necessary for Calhoun to land an offer from the Trojans. The El Cerrito standout is fine with that.
"They said they want to see me more," Calhoun said.
It's no secret UCLA is one of Calhoun's favorites and he also has offers already from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, Utah, Washington and Washington State.