Calhoun Named CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year
Jan. 7, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who led the 13-1 Spartans in quarterback hurries (18), QB hits (34) and sacks (7.5 for 45), has been named recipient of the 2013 National Defensive Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards. Calhoun becomes the third Spartan to earn a CFPA Trophy since the program's inception in 2008, joining All-American Greg Jones, who was presented the 2009 Linebacker Trophy (National Linebacker of the Year), and Le'Veon Bell, who earned the 2012 Elite Running Back Trophy (National Running Back of the Year).
The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
The 2013 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year Trophy will be formally presented to Calhoun at halftime of Tuesday's MSU-Ohio State men's basketball game.
Calhoun was named second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, USA TODAY and Athlon Sports. The 2013 Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year ranked second on the defense in tackles for loss (14 for 75 yards) and production points (238). He ranked first among Spartan defensive linemen with 37 tackles (tied with nose tackle Micajah Reynolds). Calhoun, a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media, also ranked second (tied) in the NCAA FBS with four fumble recoveries, which tied for fifth most in an MSU single-season. He produced a tackle for loss in 10 of his last 13 games while ranking third (tied) in the Big Ten in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss.
"Shilique Calhoun had a breakout year from his defensive end position," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "He's a high-motor guy, who has the knack for making big plays. Shilique played at a consistently high level all year, not only pressuring the quarterback but playing versus the run as well."
"I'm grateful and humble to have had the opportunity to win this national award," Calhoun said. "I'm thankful for my coaches and teammates because without their great individual efforts, I wouldn't be put in a position to make plays. This is an individual award, but I wouldn't have been productive without the effort of my teammates, especially my fellow defensive linemen. I'm sure a number of my teammates were also considered for this honor because as a unit, we had a lot of success this season.
"I also want to thank Coach (Pat) Narduzzi for putting me in positions to be a playmaker. Coach Narduzzi recruited me, so obviously, he played a major role in my decision to become a Spartan."
Calhoun was named one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Award, which is given annually to the nation's top defensive end. In addition, he was named to CollegeFootballNews.com's All-Sophomore Team (first team). He also was added to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List after Week 3 (nation's most versatile player).
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Calhoun totaled four tackles, including half a sack (3 yards), two QB hits and a QB hurry in Michigan State's victory over No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
He produced a career-high seven tackles, including 2.5 for losses (12 yards) and a half sack (1 yard), in MSU's home finale against Minnesota, as the Spartans held the Gophers to a season-low three points.
He recorded career highs tackles for loss (3 for 19 yards) and sacks (2.5 for 17) in MSU's 29-6 win over No. 23 Michigan. He also was credited with six tackles, two QB hurries and a career-best seven QB hits.
The Middletown, N.J., native produced three tackles, including 1.5 for losses (8 yards), and forced a fumble in MSU's 42-3 victory at Illinois. Early in the second quarter, he disrupted a reverse in the backfield, tackling Ryan Lankford for a 7-yard loss and forcing a fumble that Marcus Rush recovered at the Illini 23. Four plays later, Jeremy Langford scored on a 1-yard run to give the Spartans the lead for good at 7-3.
Calhoun contributed two tackles, including a 3-yard sack, two QB hurries and three QB hits in MSU's 14-0 win over Purdue. MSU's defense recorded its first shutout since 2011 (44-0 over Florida Atlantic) and its first against a Big Ten opponent since 1999 (34-0 at Northwestern). The Spartans limited Purdue to three first downs, 7 rushing yards (10 carries) and 113 total yards in the second half.
He was credited with three tackles, including a half tackle for loss, four QB hurries and six QB hits in MSU's 26-14 victory at Iowa.
Calhoun collected several weekly honors after scoring two touchdowns and recording two tackles for loss, including a 9-yard sack, in MSU's 21-6 win over South Florida on Sept. 7 at Spartan Stadium. He totaled 43.5 production points against the Bulls.
Calhoun was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week, Chuck Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week, FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, CBSSports.com National Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Performer of the Week. He also was selected CFPA National Defensive Lineman of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. In addition, Calhoun was listed on the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Week 2.
Calhoun scored two touchdowns against USF, returning a fumble 4 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and his first career interception 56 yards for another score in the third quarter. He was credited with three solo tackles against the Bulls, with two resulting in losses (12 yards) including a 9-yard sack, and two quarterback hurries. Michigan State's defense allowed 12 first downs, 89 rushing yards (2.5 yards per carry), 66 passing yards and 155 total yards against South Florida.
In 13 games, Calhoun has scored three defensive TDs, as he also returned a fumble 16 yards against Western Michigan. His three defensive TDs tie a modern-day Michigan State single-season record (games dating back to 1946), and he became the first Spartan to accomplish the feat in the first two games of the season. Calhoun is the first Spartan defensive player to score three TDs in one season since linebacker T.J. Turner accounted for three in 12 games in 1999 (88-yard interception return at Purdue; 26-yard fumble return at Northwestern; and 24-yard fumble return vs. Florida in 2000 Florida Citrus Bowl).
Calhoun was one of only two defensive players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision to score three touchdowns in 2013.
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