Miami University (College) Dayton Chaminade-Julianne (HS)

The Story

I would like to nominate Calvin Blackmon.

Calvin went from sleeping on my couch in 2010 as a 28 year old lost young man without a known direction and path in life, to now having a beautiful family, great job and sharing his struggles of overcoming adversity to others as a Co-Host of The Underdog Podcast.

Though Calvin didn’t start playing football until late in high school, he had a great senior year at the prestigious Dayton Chaminade-Julienne HS leading him to Miami University where he earned his bachelors degree.  After graduating from Miami, Calvin struggled with career choices of whether to become a football coach, physical trainer, or enter into sales with private companies in the local area. Though Calvin was dealing with these struggles, none of them compared to the adversity he experienced when losing his father at a young age!

Calvin then got married to Amber and had a daughter (Oaklie) and son (Paxton) that helped drive him to his new “why” in life; providing for his family and giving them the best resources and support. At that point, he really committed to his career and decided it wasn’t about what he wanted to do, but what was needed for his family.

Calvin is a great listener, genuine, passionate, caring, and overall great person. I am so proud of where he has committed in life and more importantly where he is going. The best is ahead!

Nominated by Kyle Decker: read his Life Story here!

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Zac Odom says:

It’s phenomenal how well Calvin fights through adversity. All the success he’s achieved in life thus far, is very well deserved. Keep grinding big guy! You’re a great role model for us all!

Amber Blackmon says:

Calvin is seriously the most genuine, loving, loyal and hardworking person I know. It has been amazing to watch him overcome adversity and grow into the person he is today. The kids and I are blessed to have such a great husband and father. We are very proud of everything you have achieved. Thank you for all the hard work you put in to provide for our family.

Robbie Wilson says:

I started my college career a week after high school graduation. I wanted to get a head start on classes and football. I was already nervous but even more so because I found out I would be living off campus with a few teammates. I only knew a few guys, and of course I wasn’t living with either of them. Calvin ended up being one of those roommates.

By the grace of God, Calvin decided to take me under his wing even though he had no reason to. He had just wrapped up his last football season and was graduating at the end of the summer. He was on his way out.

Instead, he saw this freshman with his head barely afloat and decided to intervene in only a way Calvin Blackmon can…lol! From navigating campus, classes or insanely difficult Coach D Sprint Workouts, Calvin was always available to help me level set and set expectations.

Even after he was gone, he always stayed in touch. Whether he was congratulating me on cracking the starting line up or clowning me for a busted play on primetime TV, I always knew he cared and had my best interests at heart.

He was and continues to be the big brother I didn’t know I needed.

Jeff Prifti says:

I have been lucky to have a relationship with Calvin as both a coach and now a co-worker. He is someone I have always looked to as a mentor in sports/work and life ever since I have met him. His energy is infectious and you can tell he leaves a positive impact on everyone he interacts with.

RJ Corbin says:

Calvin is one of the most genuine people that you will ever meet. I have had the pleasure of knowing Calvin since college and am happy to call him my friend. I have never heard Calvin complain about anything, and I know he’s always there to lend a helping hand when needed. Calvin is the definition of chin up and move forward for yourself and those that depend on you.

Martin Nance says:

Calvin is amazing. He has an infectious spirit of positivity and is always willing to help those around him. I am proud to consider Calvin a close friend and am so inspired by his journey. You will not find a better person.

Heath Harding says:

Calvin is one of the most genuine hardworking people I know. He’s the definition of a selfless leader. There is no bad days when Calvin is around because the energy and vibe that surrounds him is that infectious. Whenever I’m down and need advice he’s always there to guide me through and provide knowledge. He is someone I look to as a mentor, but more importantly as a friend.
The best is ahead brother, I’m bless to know you and proud to work with you!

Melvin Dulin III says:

You have an extraordinary vision, and seeing you take the steps to get there is inspiring.

Watching you overcome hurdles, obstacles, the fear of change, and grow into the person you are today is amazing. It’s safe to say you are the “Best Calvin” you have ever been because you took advantage of your growth opportunities.

I’m lucky to know, let alone be on a team with such a great person. I can’t wait to see where you take it from here!

Diane Dudley Bernhard says:

I am familiar with Calvin’s story from having worked beside him for 3+ years. Calvin has a calming presence which draws people to him. He is passionate about his pursuits…growing the Job Center, the Underdog Podcast (UDP)and of course, his family most of all! He always has a smile for his coworkers. I look forward to seeing his continued development. It is a pleasure to work with him. He lightens any room and situation for the better. I believe his past shaped him into the positive person he is today, always striving for personal evolution.

Gary Rogers says:

Hey Calvin, I love learning more about you through Kyle and some of your contacts from your family as well as work. I’m so excited for you to be a part of Check Your Game and look forward to sharing your story one day. Congratulations.

Bryan Tyson says:

Calvin is one of the most genuine and likeable people that you will ever meet. He has the ability to talk and get along with anyone almost as if you were childhood friends. He puts his heart into all that he does and all who interact with him come away better from it. One of the most caring people I know.