PIEDMONT – Piedmont baseball coach Matt Deerman says Jadon Calhoun is a real quiet guy, but the mild-mannered Calhoun lets his play on the baseball diamond speak volumes.
As senior this year for the Bulldogs, Calhoun collected a .307 batting average with nine doubles, a Piedmont single-season record five triples, three home runs, 24 walks, 17 hit by pitches, 31 runs and 29 RBIs.
As a pitcher, he went 8-3 on the mound with 76 strikeouts and a 2.79 ERA, helping the Bulldogs (34-7) earn a berth in the Class 3A state semifinals.
It’s Calhoun’s versatility that attracted Talladega College coach Marcos Dominguez’s attention. And, like Deerman, he plans on using it to its full potential. Calhoun signed with the Tornadoes on Thursday.
“It’s definitely been one of my dreams (to play college ball) since I started playing,” Calhoun said. “Because of me missing my junior year (due to the COVID-19 outbreak), I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I would be able to go anywhere because I missed the main year that people get recruited, but I knew I was in the right place with the right coaches to help get me where I wanted to be. I’m just blessed to have the kind of coaches who were willing to help me.”
Deerman called Calhoun “one of the most consistent guys we had.”
“He gave us an arm on the mound and we knew what we were going to get out of him. He was always real calm and very rarely got rattled. That was his personality,” Deerman said. “He was the same way at the plate. If he ever got mad, he was mad at himself, but that wasn’t very often. He’s an extreme quality kid, and he’s a good athlete.”
Dominguez knows first-hand what Calhoun can do. Calhoun said he played for Dominguez in travel ball a few years ago, and the Tornado head coach said he’s kept an eye on him during summer league ball the past couple of years.
“I have a good relationship with him,” Calhoun said. “I feel like I’m in the right place.”
“He’s a really good outfielder, and he can hit, but he’s a really good pitcher,” Dominguez said. “He throws about 85, 86, and that’s really good for a guy coming out of high school. He throws strikes, but I don’t want to waste all his talent just on the mound. I know he can play outfield and I know he can hit, so I want to give him the chance to be part of the outfield. He’s really fast too. I know he can help us out multiple ways.”
Dominguez’s plan for Calhoun is just fine by him.
“That’s been one of the things I’ve worried about, going to college and not being able to play, but he told me beforehand he wanted to use me as a two-way guy in the outfield and as a relief pitcher every once in a while,” Calhoun said. “Being able to go in and know I’ll be able to get some playing time is a really big confidence booster for me.
“I’m definitely excited. I never thought I’d be in this position, but now that it’s here, it’s time to lock in and get to work.”
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