A breakout campaign as a redshirt sophomore last season left Shilique Calhoun with a decision to make.
He had just been named an All-American and was the Big Ten’s defensive lineman of the year. Should he go pro or come back to school for his junior year?
The Michigan State standout said the decision was not a hard one to make.
“I was always focused on coming back, but when you hear millions of dollars, you think maybe I should go,” he said. “It was just I wanted to get my degree and second off I love playing with these guys, being out here with these guys and laughing and all the moments that we have, I wasn’t ready to give that up. I wasn’t ready for the NFL.”
There were a handful of reasons Calhoun said he did not feel ready for the NFL, but many came back to not being physically ready.
The 6-foot-4 defensive end has added weight to check in around 260 pounds now and sees that will make a difference.
”There is a lot more for me to learn and I’m still learning,” he said. “It was the choice for me and it helped me learn how to grow up. I was growing up at that point and it was a big decision for me.”
Another major factor was the desire to leave East Lansing with a degree in criminal justice. Calhoun is on track to complete the program by May, but that does not mean he views this year as his last in college.
“I can stretch it out for two more years,” Calhoun said. “I love these guys. I love being here. I love Coach D as a head coach, he is always there to help.
”I’m not sure if that’s what I want to do yet so I am just focused on the season. That has been my primary focus.”