Although his on-field accomplishments aren’t exactly eye-opening, Francis Kallon very likely could end up in an NFL training camp based on his physical skills. That’s how he landed at Georgia Tech in the first place.
Kallon’s story has been told many times. A big, athletic player who moved from England to Lawrenceville, Kallon was a basketball and soccer player when he was spotted in the Central Gwinnett lunchroom by Georgia Tech assistant coach and recruiter Andy McCollum.
“Who’s that kid?” McCollum asked.
Told that Kallon didn’t play football; he played soccer and basketball, McCollum asked to speak with him anyway. Kallon approached the table and had a conversation with the coach. When asked how many basketball or soccer scholarship offers he had received, Kallon admitted there were none. McCollum said that would change the minute he stepped on the football field.
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“After that spring he had offers from every major college in the country,” McCollum said.
Based on academics — and loyalty — Kallon chose Georgia Tech and has spent the past five years trying to learn everything about the game that will make him desirable for the NFL scouts.
“It’s crazy how everything has moved so fast since moving from England and playing my first year in high school and now I’m here,” Kallon said. “It’s moved pretty fast, and I take it all in stride.”
Kallon was an obvious redshirt his freshman year; he was still learning how to line up and needed time to get adjusted to the speed of the college game. He gradually began to get some playing time, although the process wasn’t easy. By the time his senior season arrived, Kallon played in 12 games (missing the Georgia game because of injury) and started six games.
The 2016 season was his best. He had 15 tackles, three for loss, one hurry and two sacks.
Since then he has graduated, with a degree in media and communications, and spent eight solid weeks getting ready for the Georgia Tech pro day, where a couple of dozen professional scouts put the players through an assortment of drills. His performance was quite good.
“I gave it my best shot and did everything I could do,” he said.
Kallon, who has 295 pounds of muscle on his 6-foot-5 frame, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds.
“I think that’s pretty good for 295 pounds,” he said with a smile. “I’ve been training for (pro day) for eight weeks, trying to maintain my diet, make sure I get up in the morning. You get out what you put in.”
Kallon said the Pro Day experience wasn’t completely unlike a regular practice, even though the competition was really against himself.
“Our coaches always made it seem like a combine when we were out there,” Kallon said. “It’s very similar, so you just imagine yourself out there in a helmet and shoulder pads doing the same things.”
There is no immediate feedback given by the scouts at pro day. Kallon will learn the ultimate results when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell starts reading out the names on April 27.
“I’ll just concentrate on getting bigger and stronger and faster,” he said. “Improving overall … making sure I’m at the topmost of my abilities.”