December 6th, 2011 10:40 PM║ Posted By: Josh Ward ║ Permalink
Tags: Caleb Gulledge, Florida State, Justin Thomas, Prattville Ala
Justin Shanks is committed to Florida State, but his recruitment is just beginning to heat up.
The defensive tackle from Prattville (Ala.) High School told MrSEC he still plans to take official visits to Alabama, Tennessee and Southern California along with Florida State.
Shanks, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 10 defensive tackle by ESPN.com, said he’s continued to update Florida State’s coaches on his plans to visit other schools.
“They were like, ‘Go for it,’” Shanks said. “They said they want me to take my official visits. They just said save (Florida State) for last – save the best for last.”
Tennessee will likely be his first visit. Shanks said he will try to visit Knoxville this month but might have to wait until January.
Shanks will have an opportunity to see a family member when he visits Tennessee. His cousin, Demarco McNeil, is an intern on the Vols’ strength and conditioning staff.
“He said they need D-linemen, especially interior,” Shanks said. “He said I can pretty much come in and play right away.”
And playing right away is a goal for Shanks.
“I know I don’t want to get redshirted,” he said. “If I can, I’m going to work hard and at least get into the rotation. I pretty much want to learn the system my first year and see how it goes.”
Shanks knows plenty about Alabama. He’s grown up a fan of the Crimson Tide and has two teammates – defensive end Caleb Gulledge and athlete Justin Thomas – committed to Alabama.
Shanks said his teammates haven’t pressured him to switch his pledge to Alabama.
“They never mention anything about it,” he said.
And Alabama coach Nick Saban rarely wastes time during his conversations with Shanks.
“He can be humorous sometimes,” Shanks said of Saban, “but he’s strictly to the point and business-like and is going to be honest with you.”
Shanks doesn’t have an honest opinion on playing on the West Coast. His official visit to USC will be his first trip to California. That should give him a better idea if he’ll feel comfortable playing for the Trojans.
“Wherever is best for me,” he said.
And that continues to be Florida State.
Shanks said another school will have to “surprise” him to convince him to switch his commitment from the Seminoles.
“I’d say it’s about 80 or 90 percent chance I still go to Florida State,” he said.
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