A 6-2, 230-pounder, who made 102 tackles last fall as a junior, he is expected to be one of the top senior football players in the state of Alabama this fall, which will be his third year as a starter.
"Our base defense is a 4-3," Shackelford notes. "I play lineman and then when we go to a 3-4 I move to outside linebacker and defensive end. I couldn't really say which one I like best. I like both positions and I like being versatile."
Shackelford, who played basketball as a sophomore, is concentrating on football now and may get bigger before he is ready to move away from home and attend college in 2009. "I think I am still growing," he says.
He notes that a steady stream of college coaches came by practices at Austin High, which just finished spring drills. The coaches obviously liked what they saw with the linebacker/end noting that he has picked up new offers from LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Marshall to go with previous ones from Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Army. Other colleges, such as Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Stanford and Southern Miss have been checking him out.
When asked if he grew up having a favorite college team he always wanted to play for, he says, "Not really. When you get into the recruiting process, you have to pick a place that fits for you. Where you are going to spend your college years is going to have a big impact on your life."
Shackelford notes that he has a 3.8 grade point average and recently earned an A in an advanced placement class so his academics are in order.
"At first I was leaning towards engineering, but I am not sure now," he says when discussing a possible college major. "I like law enforcement and I like working with kids so there are different possibilities."
He is wrapping up his junior year with exams this week after just finishing up on the football practice.
"I am just going to work at getting smarter playing the game," he says of football. "I don't want to settle for being mediocre. I want to get better every day. If you are out there practicing, you might as well work to get better."
Shackelford notes that he has an interest in Auburn, but isn't sure if he is a priority recruit for the Tigers. "They came by the school, but to be honest I am not getting highly recruited by them," he says. "I don't know what my status is with them. They have a nice coaching staff and I have had a chance to go to a lot of their camps. It is nice down there, but as far as me being recruited real, real hard by them, I don't think that is the case."
Shackelford says he hasn't set a time frame for making his college choice. He plans to attend several college camps this summer to check out campuses and programs. "I am not sure yet which camps I will go to," he says.