September 3, 2010

4-Star DT looking to visit Army

Although Auburn High School (Wash.) defensive tackle Danny Shelton has not completely discounted every school, there continues to be a steady group of four schools at the top of his list, and the four-star prospect is beginning to move forward in the process of planning visits.

However, one surprise school has jumped into the picture and 6-foot-3, 300 pound defensive tackle who has offers from such programs as UCLA, Oregon and Washington State shared with on Thursday that Army has recently caught his attention.

The powerful tackle who as a player is ranked 2nd in the state, 13th in that nation at his position, along with being the 147th overall ranked player in the country would be a major major pick up for the Black Knights staff and the program on the whole.

But first things first. With Shelton indicating that his current top four are UCLA, Oregon, U-W (as it is often called by recruits) along with California, the Black Knights have some mileage to make up and the initial starting point is getting the highly sought after tackle on campus.

Shelton, who is being recruited for Army by Ian Shields, already has a relationship with the Black Knights' offensive coordinator that has resulted in a bond of trust between the two.

"He actually coached my brother at Eastern Oregon, so I already know Coach Shields and get along well with him," says the confident prospect, who has seen his share of recruiters come and go over the past couple of years.

Danny's brother Tui Shelton is now in the Army himself and was deployed for the first time last year, where he was stationed in Iraq.

"He (Shields) told me that if I attend West Point, I would come out ranked higher than my brother and he would have to salute me," laughs Shelton of the thought of his older brother saluting him.

So what was his brother's response to that possibility? "He said, yeah whatever and laughed," declared the national recruit.

Now that Army is in the fray, Shelton is becoming more aware of uniqueness of what West Point is all about and he said he was presently surprised to learn of the school's number one ranking by Forbes Magazine last year. "I really didn't know that," says Shelton who places a high premium on academics as noted by his 3.5 GPA.

"Education has to come first …. That's how I raised. My mom wants us to do our school work first, and then play football."

What Shelton also made clear is his interest in seeing Army up close and personal. "I am definitely looking to take an unofficial visit there," confirms the national recruit.

Army has had their eyes on Shelton for some time now and there is no downplaying the impact that this talented tackle could have on the program. "I already talked to them earlier in the season," he says, who noted that Coach Shields came to one of his track meets earlier in the season.

So with the door still open, albeit not wide open, look for the Army staff to make Shelton a top priority over the next several weeks and months.

In addition to football, Shelton throws both the discus and shot put. This past track season he registered 5th and 6th in the state respectively in the discus and shot put.

He and his teammates kick off their season today on the road against Kentridge High School. The good news for Kentridge is that the game is not on Auburn's home turf where they have not lost a game in almost 7 years.

In addition to Shelton, Army has their eyes on teammate Alphonse Wade who already has been offered by the Black Knights. But also keep an eye on fellow teammate and offensive lineman Nick Conlan, who does not have an offer from Army, but that may change very soon. will continue to follow the progress of Shelton's recruiting, along with Wade and Conlan.

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