Bacone College just nabbed one of Alcovy High School’s multi-purpose athletes in Erin McCalpine, as McCalpine signed his national letter of intent on Friday to pursue his NFL dreams while suiting up at Bacone.
“They have a good program,” McCalpine said. “The coach talked to me personally, the offensive coordinator, and he said I could come down there and put in work and if I put in work my scholarship would grow and I could get a lot better and potentially go to the NFL.”
McCalpine is a versatile athlete and he’ll be a good fit at whatever position the team chooses to use him at.
“They’re getting a kid that’s got some athletic ability that can play a few different positions,” Kirk Hoffman, Alcovy coach, said. “He can play that wide receiver, he can also play slot receiver and then if you flip him over on the defensive side of the ball he’s got the ability to possibly play a strong safety so they’re getting a multiple-type player back there.”
Hoffman spoke highly of McCalpine and his teammate, Chance Phillips, who also signed on Friday morning.
“Both of ‘em have done an outstanding job of just growing into young men. I tell you what, I thought both of ‘em — you know, recruiting’s kind of gotten out of hand a little bit at the college level and both of them, they did it the right way,” Hoffman said. “They took their time and a lot of people get hung up on that first Wednesday in February, both of ‘em took their time and found schools that were a good fit for them. It’s not just, am I signing, but is it a place that I feel comfortable with? So I’m proud for both em.”
For McCalpine, his years at Alcovy have meant a lot of growth. McCalpine’s mother, Tia London, pulled her son Erin out of the DeKalb County school system and placed him at Alcovy, where she thought McCalpine would be better off academically and socially. In hindsight, it was a great decision.
“I came to this school thinking I was just gonna be a troublemaker, but school changed me a lot,” McCalpine said. “My friends, my family, I love ‘em and I just gotta keep moving forward, but I’m definitely gonna miss Friday night lights, playing next to my boys and having a great coach. Coach Hoffman, he was a good head coach for [my] four years.”
“It’s overwhelming, but then again I’m very proud of him. I couldn’t ask for anything better, especially since he didn’t play football until 10th grade,” London said.
Erin didn’t play much football when he was younger. The first time he played rec. was because he wanted to play football like his older brother. London recalls her son being fast and playing a lot because of his speed, but he never got much of a break. She says that after his first year, Erin didn’t want to play football anymore, choosing to stick with baseball – which he played until high school – because football had too much running.
Erin didn’t play football again until his sophomore year at Alcovy. Coach Hoffman used to tell him he wasn’t mature enough to be on varsity then, but in Erin’s 11th and 12th grade year he told him he grew and he thought he was ready.
McCalpine recalls, “It built me and it gave me focus. It made me focus, made me work out harder, made me stay after school, do what I had to do and it just made me work harder.”