Ethan Calvert is an explosive athlete, bred for the game of football. He takes the phrase “be the hammer, not the nail” to new heights.
“I don’t like to overthink things, I like to play fast... I think my combination of size and speed is a pretty good balance.” Calvert says about his style of play.
Coming in at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Ethan, the third of the Calvert brothers to play for Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, is undoubtedly the fastest and most athletic of the three. His two older brothers play linebacker at UCLA and the University of Washington.
Washington is high on Ethan's list but with plenty of time to weigh out his options, he’s in no rush to make a commitment.
“I’m looking for relationships with the coaches. Distance (from home) doesn’t really matter, as long as campus feels like home.” he said.
Ethan's older brother Josh is currently learning the ropes as a freshman linebacker in the Washington defense, but used 2019 as his redshirt this season after an injury during fall practices.
As the youngest of his three brothers, Ethan grew up chasing his brothers' successes with passion and admiration.
”I’m younger, so I’m always trying to fight to catch up to them,” Ethan told the LA Times' Shotgun Spratling. “I’ve been watching them my whole life, just trying to be like them. I feel that maybe I have a little bit of a head start over them cause they’ve been helping me.”
Given his upbringing, size, and speed, I'd bet on Ethan to have success anywhere he goes. But in particular, I think a bright future in (purple) rainy Seattle, Washington as the commander of UW’s famously defensive line-scarce front 6/7 awaits.
One of the unique challenges of being the guy for the Dawgs' defense is game-planning for spread offenses week after week, yet still being disciplined enough to be an effective middle linebacker with only two defensive linemen on the field for the majority of your snaps. This translates to more stack and sheds and banging around in the box than most high school linebackers are used too. Also worth mentioning are the unorthodox reads the UW defensive front requires middle linebackers to make, which Calvert says will be a point of emphasis this upcoming offseason.
"I think I need to work on my reads the most, that way I can see plays quicker, get to them quicker... fill the right gaps."
For UW linebackers, the trade-off of this system is (supposed to be) less pass coverage responsibility, but with one look at former Husky Ben Burr-Kirven’s film vs Ohio State, it’s easy to see that a lot is still asked of the position in pass coverage.
Calvert’s speed and motor remind me of Burr-Kirven’s style of play, so naturally, I see Calvert as a logical fit in the Washington MLB position. With his older brother already in the locker room, and a “somewhere that feels like home” attitude, I’m guessing UW will remain high up on his list even after his upcoming springtime official visits.
Other top schools on the list are fellow Pac-12 programs USC, Stanford, UCLA, and Cal, along with LSU and Ohio State.
“I’ll probably end up narrowing my decision (and) committing after I take my official visits.” Calvert said.