Danny Shelton (Scout.com)
At 3-0, Auburn is currently the No. 1 4A team in the state, and in large part that is due to the play of OL/DL Danny Shelton, rated by Scout.com as the No. 26 defensive tackle in the country. The way the Trojans play defense, according to Shelton, is simple; let him occupy as many blockers as he can, and his teammates will take care of the rest.
"That's basically what we do," the 6-foot-3, 286-pound Shelton told Scout.com Sunday. "This year my goal was to become one of the leaders on the field, and another goal as a high school football player was to be Washington's best (defensive) lineman ever in the state. I feel like I'm getting there, but there's still more stuff I have to do. I have to work on technique more and gain more strength and I have to keep learning how to beat triple-teams and make the play after getting triple-teamed."
And these triple-teams aren't a new thing for Shelton. "They started doing that my junior year," he said. "My junior year, I was just doing my own thing, but this year I'm trying to learn from the coaches how to beat the triple teams now. They try to do it every play, but I try one thing and then another thing to beat the triple teams."
The polls don't lie; the way Auburn is playing has caught the attention of those that track the top prep teams in the state. "Our first game (Kentridge), it seemed like it was pretty tough for us, but we were just making too many mistakes," Shelton said. "We had too many penalties. Our next two games were pretty easy games (Mt. Rainier and Thomas Jefferson).
"This week we have a short week, because we play on Thursday (against Tahoma). The week after, we have three games in a row (Kentwood, Curtis and Kentlake) that are pretty tough, and I think two of the three games will be on Comcast. Those will probably be some of the biggest games of the year."
Shelton also told Scout.com that he got a chance to see the Nebraska-Washington game in Seattle this past weekend. "I got there late," he said. "I got there at halftime, so I didn't get to see them in the locker room or anything, see the players before the game. Last year I got to see them before the games, but I got there early before."
How is the recruiting process going for Shelton? "I still haven't made a decision," he said. "I have a top-four. I'd say U-Dub (Washington), Oregon, UCLA and Cal." He added that Washington and Oregon stand out. "U-Dub, there's a lot of players over there that I know, and I'm pretty cool with the coaches there. I'm pretty cool with the coaches too at Oregon, but I don't know that many people there."
So is it safe to say that he expects to play in college somewhere in the Northwest? "Yeah, I think that's safe to say," Shelton said. "I'm going to try and do a couple (official visits) during the season, and then after the season do the last ones. I haven't set up any yet; I'm still in the process."
The Trojans had a player in Chris Young who signed with Washington last year. Because of some academic hurdles he needed to overcome, Young has started his college career out at Arizona Western College. "He usually texts all the players he used to play with…the seniors this year, he usually texts us before our games to wish us good luck," Shelton said. "I haven't talked to him too much."
Danny Shelton Scout.com Profile