Humbled and honored were the words used by all three of Michigan State’s new captains on Thursday. Junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun, senior safety Kurtis Drummond and senior offensive lineman Travis Jackson were the trio voted on by their teammates out of a 12-man leadership council.
“It’s been five years and I’m just so honored and so humbled that my team would pick me,” Jackson said. “It’s been such a good time here at Michigan State and I’m kind of speechless. I’m so humbled.”
All three captains were quick to note the Spartans have plenty of leaders that could have been picked – and other leaders that will continue to do so. Drummond said the leadership on this team will be incredibly deep.
”If you asked me if I thought I would be a captain, it truly caught me off guard because of the depth that we have in leadership,” he said. “We have guys, not only juniors and seniors that can lead, but we are going to need guys that continue to step up each week and continue to motivate and push guys.”
”We have the leaders that we need,” Calhoun said. “We are just the faces of the leadership. We categorize those guys as leaders also.”
Coach Mark Dantonio praised all three for the players they are on the field, but also the people they are as individuals.
”We sort of pick our 12 guys over the course of the entire year, over the course of summer camp, and we pick two at a time,” he said. “So they have a chance to reflect and to pick the guys that, not just are good football players, but are guys that are trying to do the right things off the football field as well and guys that are leading on the field. I think these guys are great examples of that.”
While Cook was not named a captain, the junior quarterback figures to take on a solid leadership role this season.
“Connor is in there and he runs the huddle,” Jackson said. “On game day, he is the one. He is in charge of the huddle and he is in charge of the offense. In ways I support him and he is a leader out there.”