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Guthrie's Kai Callins makes knee injury a distant memory with big senior year

BIG ALL-CITY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Kai Callins intercepted seven passes to set the tone as one of the top defensive backs in the state.
by Jacob Unruh Published: January 8, 2014

Week 3 was the most crucial for Kai Callins.

Following a devastating knee injury that cost the Guthrie star his junior season, the realization of how healthy he truly was set in during the Bleujays' 36-16 win at Enid with 179 rushing yards and two touchdowns alongside two interceptions.

It also served notice to the rest of the state that Callins was back.

“After the Enid game in Week 3, they kind of shied away from my side, which didn't really allow much opportunity for me,” Callins said. “But the opportunity I got I was trying to turn the ball the other way.”

He certainly created turnovers, intercepting seven passes to set the tone as one of the top defensive backs in the state and cement his spot as The Oklahoman's Big All-City Defensive Player of the Year.

“I felt like I had an incredible season,” Callins said. “I didn't expect to have that kind of season, especially picks-wise. I know tackles was kind of an all-time low, but picks-wise I couldn't ask for a better season.”

Callins had just 18 tackles, well below his previous average of 48 tackles per season. That, however, was a product of him being a lockdown cornerback.

Team rarely attempted to throw near Callins, and when they did plays like his one-handed interception on a post route in the semifinals against Collinsville happened.

“He's as good of defensive back we've had as far as coverage we've had come through here,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said. “We've had some guys come up and tackle a little better, but as far as 1-on-1 coverage he's probably the best we've had.”

As good as Callins was on defense, he was equally as strong offensively.

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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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