January 21, 2010 7:12:00 AM
Kaleb Eulls became a hero in his hometown last year.
Mississippi State could be ready to give Eulls a hero''s welcome in three weeks.
In a well-documented incident in September, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end from Yazoo County High School diffused a potentially tragic situation on a school bus when he knocked a gun away from a student who intended to use it.
Eulls fell asleep on the bus while listening to his MP3 player when the incident caught him by surprise
"It was something I never expected to happen to me," Eulls said.
After being awaken by a younger sister, Eulls put on his glasses and saw a girl pointing a gun at other students.
"I just tried to talk to the girl, calm her down, and get all of her attention focused on me," Eulls said. "I was trying to get her to give me the gun or put it down. She refused, so I just tried to keep her attention as the other kids were exiting the back of the bus."
Eulls said the girl pointed the gun at him, but his main concern was getting the other students to safety.
All he wanted was an opportunity to do something when she dropped her guard. Then it happened.
"The kids exiting caught her attention for a second and when she glanced over there, I hit her and knocked the gun away," Eulls said. "I found the gun and told the bus driver I had it."
Eulls'' story made national headlines and he was interviewed on NBC''s Today Show.
Yazoo County High football coach Matt Williams wasn''t surprised to learn what Eulls did. He said Eulls is a respectful young man who exhibits a high amount of character.
"What he did on the bus got a lot attention, but people who really know him know he''ll do the right thing," Williams said. "When he does that, people recognized him for it."
Since taking action on the bus, Eulls has been called a hero, even Superman.
All he knows that if people looked at him as a leader, then he needed to act like one.
"I consider myself a role model, not only for the younger people but also the older people," Eulls said.
Williams said Eulls was put in a leadership role as a sophomore at Yazoo County.
Going into the 2007 season, Williams had to depend on the sophomore class because "our talent pool was a little down."
Eulls was one of the only players who earned experience as a freshman, starting as a linebacker. He also played tight end, linebacker, defensive end, and a power running back on goal-line situations.
"He just ran around the field for us," Williams said. "You could tell when he was a freshman and sophomore he was something special. His junior year was probably his break-out year because no one had heard about him."
"We were looking for a quarterback and he said he''d play it, so we put him at quarterback and he started making plays for us. This year, he capped a great season and a great career as the best player to ever play here."
Eulls played in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game, which is where he caught the eye of Mississippi Regional analyst Yancy Porter of Scout.com.
"Kaleb Eulls is a big-time player," Porter said. "He''s not as heavy as I thought, but really nimble on his feet. It''s not surprising to me they used him at quarterback (at Yazoo County). He should make for a great defensive lineman for Mississippi State and should fit in nicely with Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd."
Eulls, who has a bench press 300 pounds, a squat of 465 pounds and a 29-inch vertical jump, said last weekend his commitment with MSU is firm despite the recent changes on the defensive staff.
Williams is impressed with how Eulls has handled the recruiting process.
"We''ve still got people calling wanting him to listen," Williams said. "He''ll listen to people and has good manners about him. He''s going to do the right thing."
1. Getting to the point: Newman buys into Howland's plan COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU's Alwal signs contract with WNBA's Atlanta Dream COLLEGE SPORTS
3. New Hope baseball advances in playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Prep Softball: Caledonia advances in playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU's Smith anticipates draft call COLLEGE SPORTS