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Kalen DeLoach Brings Complete Package to FSU

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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He will head to Tallahassee as both a diligent student and an Under-Armour All-American. The Seminoles are getting a leader and a linebacker alike.

Kalen DeLoach, an athletic, instinctive talent from Savannah, Georgia, sees the field like few players his age. The same can be said for his big picture perspective. A playmaker known for his physical skills and dynamic abilities, DeLoach has big plans for his future at Florida State. DeLoach, who had offers from the biggest names around, was thorough and thoughtful during the recruiting process. He will head to Tallahassee as both a diligent student and an Under-Armour All-American. The Seminoles are getting a leader and a linebacker alike.

Understandably, DeLoach was hotly-pursued down the stretch, with programs like Auburn and Michigan among those vying for his services. It was Florida State, however, which stood out throughout. DeLoach fits the mold of the aggressive, speedy outside linebacker that the Seminoles, see Derrick Brooks to Telvin Smith, have long produced. Plans include the FSU defensive staff utilizing DeLoach covering the flat and blitzing off the edge. There is a strong likelihood that he will play early, a chance he has worked hard to earn.

Though Wednesday was the official first step towards his college career, the journey goes back years.

"It's very stress-relieving, it gets very stressful during the season," DeLoach acknowledged. "I used to get calls everyday from different coaches, now I can just focus on one school, settle down the rest of my senior year and then just focus on Florida State."

DeLoach stands as one of the centerpieces of the Seminoles' incoming class. Ranked as one of the absolute best at his position nationally, DeLoach is one of Willie Taggart's highest-rated recruits. It was late July when DeLoach committed to Florida State and, despite overwhelming interest up until the scholarship was offer was officially signed, the heralded prospect didn't waver. Amidst outside speculation, DeLoach stayed true to the Seminoles.

As DeLoach walked into his own press conference, there was no doubt as to his destination. DeLoach showed up with Florida State-logo printed slacks and a garnet bow-tie.

"This class is really a culture change. This class, I think, is really the best class in the nation so far," he explained. "With Coach Taggart, I believe he is going to coach us up to be the best we can and then we are going to go out there and fight every game because we know he has our back. We are just going to go out there and play for the people we love and care for."

The latest DeLoach standout has a proven path to follow. His older sister Taylor is a track and field star at Ohio State, excelling as an NCAA East Preliminary Qualifier and an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Kalen's younger brother Jalen is a 6'8'' basketball prospect at Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia, South Carolina. In and outside of competition, the DeLoach siblings continue to uphold an impressive standard. Family is an important part of the DeLoach's success, with Wednesday's signing adding to the already-proud legacy.

Like his son, father Rob DeLoach sees a special opportunity in Tallahassee.

"With Coach Taggart, he wants to win a national championship and with him being the first African-American at Florida State to coach, it's a great opportunity for him to possibly be the first African-American to win a national championship," Rob stated. "And why not be at Florida State University?"

The player and person that Kalen is will be a key piece to the puzzle at Florida State. A complete student-athlete profile is part of what brought so many coaches, and thus programs, to southeast Georgia. DeLoach will bring a wide array of positive traits to the Seminoles, some measured and quantified, some, perhaps the most important, not. The full impact of DeLoach's addition won't be limited to just the box score.  

"You're going to get a player that is going to work hard and come out there and practice everyday, be the best he can on the field, help his teammates get better. We are going to push each other in practice and do what we need to do," he added. 

Already, DeLoach is on a mission. Before his formal arrival, even, this Seminole is ready for a return. 

"it just felt like home there," he concluded of signing with Florida State. "I got around the other players and the rest of the recruits and we all had the mindset that this is the school we wanted to go to and we are going to build it back up."

DeLoach is a student and an athlete, selfless and a star. He, determined and proud, is now a Seminole, too.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports