Defensive End Shilique Calhoun
As of late, Michigan State alumni have found a lot of success in the East Bay, and Shilique Calhoun is hoping to be the next athlete in line to do just that.
Draymond Green – who was a Spartan from 2008-12 – was named to his first All-Star game in 2016 and is currently in the midst of a playoff run with the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, and his success is one that the Raiders' rookie would like to replicate.
"He [Green] did set a pillar for us," Calhoun told *Haberman & Middlehauff *on 95.7 The Game.
"We do have to step up to that standard. It's not going to be a problem. We're tough. We're strong and we're definitely competitive. He's just a model for us, and you'll see a lot more to come from me and the rest of the Spartan Dogs. I hope I can step up and definitely be that guy, and produce on so many different levels for the Oakland Raiders."
The similarities between Calhoun and Green run deeper than just a shared alma mater. Like Green, Calhoun spent four years in East Lansing, using the entirety of his college eligibility, earning First-Team All-Big Ten honors three times in the process.
Seeing a player stay for four years in college is a rarity in 2016, but Calhoun believes the length of his career as a Spartan will benefit him in the NFL.
"Honestly, the opportunity to come back for four-and-a-half years has brightened my knowledge of the game of football," Calhoun explained. "I didn't start until my freshman year of high school, and I didn't play defensive end until my junior year of high school. It helped me brighten my knowledge of the position, for understanding defense, and for understanding my ability."
Calhoun isn't shy about discussing how fond he is of his alma mater, but now he's trading in the Green and White for Silver and Black, and he's ready to get work under the tutelage of current Raiders like Khalil Mack.
"I look forward to talking with those guys, just trying to pick their brains," Calhoun said. "They have a lot of knowledge. Khalil has done some great things in the league and he's still young. I'm definitely going to reach out those guys whenever I get a chance, as for right now, I'm just taking it all in and looking forward to this long plane ride to The Bay."
Calhoun, along with the rest of Raiders' rookie class, will report to the team's Alameda, Calif., facility for the first time Monday, officially beginning their careers in Silver and Black, and for the Michigan State-product, he's prepared to do whatever it takes to help the team win.
"I want to be the best, and that's what I'm training for, and that's what I strive for," Calhoun said. "Of course I want to go out there and produce in any way that I can. I just want to see the Raiders win, and I want to be a part of that organization as well."