Hondo: Congratulations Freak, what does it mean to you to get this honor?
Shilique: It’s definitely special. To know that these men believe in me to lead. A lot of other guys could have had this position, but I’m happy they have faith in me to name me one of their captains. I take full responsibility for what is going to happen to this team and I’m hoping that I can push it in a positive direction.
Hondo: What kind of a leader will you be?
Shilique? Not forceful. More of the one with a smile who is smiling all the time. I definitely am going to be hard on the guys because I know what kind of potential we have for this team. I am definitely going to be pushing them. I’m also going to be behind them smiling and giggling as well.
Hondo: Does this team having national title potential put even MORE pressure on this year’s captains?
Shilique: I think there is enough pressure being a captain. We are not trying to look towards a national championship. We are more trying to push our team in the right direction. That is enough pressure as is. That is our main focus just trying to stay in the right direction, stay positive and play every game like it is our last.
Q: In your career goals was being captain one of them?
Shilique: Definitely. In high school it was a little weird, I didn’t want to be a captain, I didn’t want to be a leader, but now I want to be one of those leaders than can lead this team in the right direction. One of those guys who is going to push for us to be the best we can be. It’s nice. It is a great opportunity for me and I am grateful they elected me.
Q: Why didn’t you want to be a leader in high school?
Shilique: I don’t know. It was weird. I was young. I felt like I could lead from behind. Now I’m not leading from behind. Definitely want to be one of the vocal guys that the guys look up to.
Q: Did you expect this?
Shilique: Not at all honestly. I thought a couple of other guys would be ahead of me and take a leadership position, but it wasn’t going to stop me from being vocal and trying to keep this team on a positive note.
Q: Doesn’t this reflect maturity?
Shilique: I hope so. I feel like the guys see that I am definitely stepping up and being more mature. Trying to take the reins of the team and push us in the right direction. It speaks that I have grown up since high school and not only that, but since my first year here.
Q: Do you think about the storied list of captains and now you are on that list as well?
Shilique: I haven’t taken it that far. They elected me captain an I’m just proud of that. I’m thankful of the faith they have in me. I haven’t really looked at any historical meetings to it. Just captain, that is about it.
Q: After getting elected what was your message to the team?
Shilique: Be positive each and every day. Not only that, but we are a family. It is a brotherhood here. Everyone needs to stick together. Not only that, but watch their brothers back. That is what makes us so close. We are a big family here.
Q: Is being a vocal captain overrated? Don’t players care more about what you do?
Shilique: Not necessarily. I feel like it is both. They want to see what you do AND what you are saying. If you are a leader and your quiet and not saying anything and are in the back people are looking at that like he’s not telling me what to do. He’s not helping me out. They not only want to see you do it, but they want to hear you say it. This is what we are doing. So I feel it is both vocally and by example.
Hondo: You are so positive and all smiles, do you have that ability to reach down and get in a guy’s face?
Shilique: I would do it more in a positive way. A positive push in the right direction not more so like you suck and this and that. More so like come on man I know you can do this. We need to get up, we need to get together, we need to ban together. Achieve this goal. I know what we have and I know how you play. I know how we play as a unit. So I think it’s more so of that way than a you can’t do this, you suck you need to get on.
Q: Dantonio said during camp that this team needed to find leadership to replace what was lost. Do you think this team has enough or still searching?
Shilique: Definitely. We have a lot of great leadership and it’s not only the captains. A lot of other guys like Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, Jack Allen; I mean I could go on and on. Guys who are leading by example. Not only that, but they are being very vocal. So we have the leaders that we need. That is NO problem. We are just the faces of the leadership, but a lot of other guys are leading. We categorize those guys as leaders also.