What did he think of all the attention?
"I only have this many cameras because everybody else left and I was late," he joked.
That's true. His teammates had moved on to take their finals. Calhoun, though, wasn't too worried. He needed just two classes to finish his criminal justice degree. One of them was bowling.
"I pulled an all-nighter for bowling," he said, smiling. "There's a lot of pins down there."
Hey, Calhoun is a show, a "personality," as coach Mark Dantonio calls him. The man "who brings us together," said All-America center Jack Allen. Call it the cult of Calhoun.
Yet until the loss at Nebraska, the 6-foot-5 senior didn't consistently take his show on the road. Or even to Spartan Stadium.
Calhoun's uneven play isn't the only reason MSU's defense struggled earlier this year -- injuries were the main culprit -- but it was a part.
Then Nebraska happened. The Spartans allowed 39 points. Didn't register a sack. Got humbled. Redoubled its conviction. Began mashing up front.
Which is why we are here, or why we were there, inside the stadium media center, listening to players and coaches talk about Alabama, yes, but also about the growth of this program and the opportunity ahead.
Surreal, no? It has to be a little.
Who saw this coming three years ago when the Spartans couldn't move the ball and lost to an average Notre Dame team in September? They had gone 7-6 the year before. Yeah, they'd won under Kirk Cousins and finally had beaten a quality team in a bowl and had given Spartan nation plenty reason to be proud. After all, this was a long way from Bobby Williams.
No offense, Mr. Williams.
But playing for a national championship? Against the bluest blue blood of the sport? Led by its most delicious villain? Who happened to coach in East Lansing?
Also: exactly. As in: MSU belongs on this stage, has the talent to play on this stage, shows us the moxie to win on this stage.
You could hear it Calhoun's voice last week when asked if he saw visions of Henry in his sleep.
"Nah," he said.
He isn't worried. Nor should he be. MSU can play with Alabama, and he knows it.
He has seen the film. The whole team has. And while the players and coaches said all the right things during media day, their tone gave them away.
These guys know they belong. Knew it in September when they beat Oregon. Knew it while surviving Michigan and Purdue. Knew it in Columbus, too, when few others did.
Blame that skepticism on that loss to Nebraska, which reset the defense, which freed up the quarterback-mauling version of Calhoun, who blitzed the Buckeyes and steamrolled the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Six weeks after throwing up his arms in disgust at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium -- he thought the refs blew a holding call that led to a late touchdown -- Calhoun simply is blowing up offenses.
Sure, he admitted, playing the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff semifinal provides a serious challenge for the Spartans.
"It's also a chance for us to showcase our (own) talent," he said.
Not sure they've ever had more of it.