Calhoun Rates Pitt A 'Ten'

Pitt's outcome against West Virginia might not have been a good one, but the New Jersey tight end took a lot of good out of his visit.

He was planning it for awhile, but Shilique Calhoun said there was no problem in setting up his official visit to Pittsburgh the day after Thanksgiving, in able to be there in time for a noon kickoff between Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He spent much of Friday and Saturday taking a look at Pitt, before heading back home last Saturday afternoon.

"It was pretty easy, my mom had a lot of energy (driving in)," Calhoun said. "I slept through (the trip) a whole lot. We got in early, then I got a little sleep. It was good."

With much of the focus surrounding the game, Calhoun was one of the first prospects to arrive at Heinz Field on Friday morning. He had a chance to take in the pre-game atmosphere, and get a better idea of what the Pitt fans were like.

"It's a wonderful stadium," Calhoun said. "The Pittsburgh Steelers play there; they have a great pre-game atmosphere. The crowd is wonderful. I liked seeing they had a lot of fans there."

Then when it came time for kickoff, Calhoun paid close attention to the Pitt defense. During his visit, he actually talked with the coaching staff about the possibility of playing offense or defense, if he were to commit to the Panthers.

"I was just trying to have a better understanding of how they run their defense," Calhoun said. "Basically they have the position I want to play. I just want to see if it fits my style of play. Obviously, it was good. We went over it, and we were discussing even playing tight end. That's even better."

It sounds like Pitt is giving him the option--offense or defense.

"I love the opportunity to be able to play both sides; who wouldn't want to score touchdowns, and who wouldn't want sacks," Calhoun said. "I'll take what I can get; just play hard."

Despite the 35-10 loss to West Virginia, Calhoun said he didn't get turned off by Pitt.

"Honestly, I thought the defense played very well," Calhoun said. "They had a couple mishaps on offense that led to their demise. I thought the defense played very well; that would be my observation."

After the game, Calhoun spent time with New Jersey natives Ray Graham and Jason Hendricks.

"I got a better understanding about their whole experience," Calhoun said. "It really helps to talk to someone from my home state, about how they step into that situation. It's the most accurate. It's always nice having someone here from back home. You can relate to stuff. Whenever we have break, you can go back and get a ride with them. You don't have to take the trip back by yourself."

Calhoun capped off the visit with a dinner at the Grand Concourse, with secondary coach Jeff Hafley. Calhoun claims that basketball is his first love. Though he was in town the day of a Pitt basketball game, he had to return to New Jersey Saturday night. He did make a point to go watch Pitt at their shoot-around prior to tip-off against Penn.

Overall, Calhoun rated his official visit to Pitt pretty high.

"I give them a ten (on a scale of one to ten), of course," Calhoun said. "It was a wonderful experience. I loved it. I'd probably say the three things I loved the most; the wonderful guide Matt (Dudek). Every experience, he made it fun. Then, going out to eat with coach (Hafley). There was wonderful music (at the restaurant). Things were more calmer. We had a chance to talk about football, and about playing both sides of the ball. The players and coaches made me feel like I was at home. They never left me feeling out of my element."

Calhoun says there might be a couple more visits on his agenda, but he has nothing definitive. Same with when he would like to announce his decision; there is no target date for that.

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