No NFL, yet: Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun 'definitely' coming back, has bigger goals


Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun had 7.5 sacks and spent plenty of time harassing quarterbacks this season. The Big Ten's defensive lineman of the year also was a second-team All-American selection by numerous publications.

(Mike Mulholland |

EAST LANSING — Second team.

Those two words are just part of the motivation that will bring Shilique Calhoun back to Michigan State's program next season, even though the third-year sophomore would be eligible for the NFL draft if he wanted to declare.

Calhoun, in his first season as a full-time starter, led the Spartans with 7.5 sacks, 34 quarterback hurries and 14 tackles for loss. The Big Ten's defensive lineman of the year has been a second-team selection to numerous All-American teams, including the Associated Press.

There's little question scouts already are drooling, but it appears the NFL has to wait.

"I'm committed to coming back, definitely," Calhoun said Tuesday.

"I want to play with my brothers, I want to get my degree. Also, because, I'm second-team All-American. There are bigger goals here. I definitely would love to be a first-team All-American. That's something I want to accomplish."

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare.

Calhoun joked that he's not leaving Michigan State until he's a first-team All-American, "so I may have to redshirt a couple years. Don't be surprised if you see me eight years down the road."

The reality is the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Calhoun appears to be an early-round NFL draft prospect whenever he declares. has Calhoun ranked as the ninth-best defensive end prospect for 2014, the 79th-best player overall and a possible second- or third-round pick. Ahead of him are three other underclassmen, including South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney.

Calhoun is one of only two FBS players this season who have scored three touchdowns. He returned a fumble for a TD against Western Michigan and had a fumble and interception return for touchdowns against South Florida.

One of his most productive games came against rival Michigan, where he had a career-high 2.5 sacks among six tackles.

If Calhoun opted for the NFL, it would be the second consecutive season Michigan State has lost a standout defensive end to the next level.

William Gholston skipped his senior season and was drafted in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gholston had a career-high tackles in the Bucs' loss to San Francisco on Sunday, and has 15 tackles in three games this month.

— Email Josh Slagter at Download the "Michigan State" football (iPhone & Android) and basketball (iPhone & Android) MLive apps