Briean Boddy-Calhoun stood on the sidelines of Kinnick Stadium, burning up on the inside.
The Gophers were in the midst of what would become a 31-13 loss on the road to Iowa, and the Hawkeyes’ fans began to taunt the Minnesota cornerback from the stands.
“Put Booty in!” they chanted.
Boddy-Calhoun still hasn’t forgotten the words, but he was able to at least exact some revenge this past fall when the Hawkeyes visited Minnesota, and he intercepted a pass in the 51-14 Gophers romp.
“I just wanted to get back,” Boddy-Calhoun said. “I wanted those fans to know who ‘Booty’ was on the field.”
Entering his redshirt senior season, Boddy-Calhoun has let most of the Big Ten know who he is. At large, however, the 2014 All-Big Ten first team selection is still under the radar.
Even though fans are no longer calling him “Booty,” the team’s defensive leader still feels like he and his team don’t get enough respect.
Not that he minds.
“We’re not looking for respect because we’re used to not getting it,” Boddy-Calhoun said. “I think we thrive when we don’t get respect. When we do get respect, we don’t thrive as much.”
The cornerback earned respect around his conference last season by filling up the stat sheet with nine pass deflections, five interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The college football world noticed enough to put Boddy-Calhoun and fellow Minnesota cornerback Eric Murray on the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik watch lists for the nation’s top defensive player this summer, but both were left off the Jim Thorpe award list for the nation’s top defensive back.
Despite his other accolades, Boddy-Calhoun still wasn’t surprised by the omission.
“No, because that’s always my expectations,” Boddy-Calhoun said. “I was actually surprised to be on watch lists in general. But if there was one that I really wanted to be on it was the Jim Thorpe watch list. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t win it.”
Inside the Minnesota program, though, Boddy-Calhoun is no Rodney Dangerfield. He was named a team captain this offseason, leading the team’s defense in summer workouts.
“He’s a kid that loves football. Loves to play every day, loves competing, and the kids’ got a great deal of respect for him,” Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said. “More so than anything, kids follow him. That’s a good thing.”
Even fellow captain Mitch Leidner will go to Boddy-Calhoun for input. The starting quarterback will ask the cornerback to walk him through what he’s looking for in certain coverages, even though what Leidner picks up often won’t apply to opposing players.
“Boddy usually plays things a lot different than other corners,” Leidner said. “He likes to take a little bit more chances than most other guys. He’s just got athletic ability a lot of other defensive backs don’t have.”
That athletic ability helped Boddy-Calhoun succeed in his one season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas and again when he transferred to
It almost certainly has the attention of National Football League scouts, who are likely already working to know who “Booty” is, watch list or no watch list.
“He’s a self-motivated type of guy,” defensive end Theiran Cockran said. “He knows what’s at stake. He knows the player he wants to be, so he’ll just prove that during the season.”