Kalen DeLoach Discusses How FSU Football Career Prepared Him For Transition To Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Seminole has hit the ground running with the Buccaneers.
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State linebacker Kalen Deloach (LB09) talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State linebacker Kalen Deloach (LB09) talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason has been no easy beast for Florida State to conquer with the program in the middle of trying to replace some of its top players from the last couple of years. The Seminoles had ten players selected during the NFL Draft in April and another three who signed undrafted free agent deals.

Former FSU linebacker Kalen DeLoach is taking the hard road to make an NFL roster after he didn't hear his name called on draft weekend. He landed in a perfect situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the franchise doesn't have proven depth at linebacker beyond Lavonte David and K.J. Britt. There is a spot for the taking and DeLoach is already utilizing what he learned in Tallahassee to help with his transition to the professional level.

READ MORE: Five-Star Defensive Lineman Decommits From USC Trojans After FSU Football Official Visit

The biggest thing Deloach has taken away from the experience so far is that his success will ultimately depend on himself.

"You've really got to be a professional," DeLoach said to BucsGameday's Logan Robinson. "You really on your own and then you got to study on your own. You do everything on your own and just the amount of plays that we install a day, that's something that I got get used to, but like I said, I categorize them to make it easier. So I just say the playbook really is the hardest part because as long as I continue to run, I'm going to get used to the speed, the game, speed of the game and then everybody gets set faster. So you got to just know what you do off the rip."

The Buccaneers have already completed the majority of their offseason program after holding rookie mini-camp, OTAs, and manadatory minicamp. The next step will be when training camp opens for first-year players on July 22.

The time that DeLoach has put in on the field since joining Tampa Bay has him feeling comfortable with the defensive concepts. His growing confidence and the versatility he attained at Florida State have him sitting in a solid spot to compete for a 53-man roster spot.

"I'd say once I understood like the concepts of the defense, it comes easier. I'd say it is a lot of blitz, a lot of little bit of everything in this defense," DeLoach said. "The same way with Fuller, Fuller blitz every play or you might drop every play. I'm trying to disguise the blitz, working on disguising the blitzes, but like I said, it is equivalent once I understand the concepts of how it's ran and, what we're trying to get into, it makes it easier."

"FSU, I played all three so I got a mixture of everything while I was there," DeLoach continued. "I played the wheel then I played, when we was in the 4-3, I think my sophomore year I played basically where the nickel play and then my senior year I was in the middle. So I done had a chance to play all three of them, which makes it easier because I done seen all three perspectives."

Overcoming adversity is nothing new for DeLoach. It's something that he's done throughout his life and he's ready to seize his opportunity with the Buccaneers. He wants to be on everyone's radar by the conclusion of training camp.

"I just say Coach Norvell always preached adversity, just overcome adversity and I feel like this is part of the adversity stage," DeLoach said. "It is nothing I ain't never seen before, nothing I ain't never do before, but just to overcome it, make myself known by the end of training camp. Just go out there and do what I do, be confident in who I am and just work each and every day."

DeLoach has added seven pounds leading up to the season and currently weighs in around 218. He's coming off a noteworthy career at Florida State where he totaled 212 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and a defensive touchdown.

The Georgia native was a crucial leader on the field and in the locker room as he helped guide the Seminoles to back-to-back double-digit win seasons during his final two years with the program. DeLoach was named a second-team All-ACC selection in 2023 as Florida State took home its first ACC Championship in nine years.

READ MORE: FSU Football Achieves Top-10 Spot in ESPN's Future Power Rankings

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Dustin Lewis


Lewis joined NoleGameday in 2016 and is currently in the role of Editor-In-Chief. A graduate of Florida State, Lewis contributes to football, recruiting, and basketball coverage. Connect with Dustin on Twitter at @DustinLewisNG.