Prattville Standout Earns MVP Honor

Prattville standout junior Justin Shanks talks about his performance at the Auburn MVP Camp.

Auburn, Ala.--Prattville junior Justin Shanks has been a player on the recruiting radar since his performance last spring at a Scout Camp, but on Saturday he stepped things up several notches as he earned the Top Underclassman at the Auburn MVP Camp. At 6-2 ½, 278 with excellent quickness and strength, Shanks was impressive in one-on-one drills along with fellow defensive lineman and overall camp MVP Chris Hughes from McComb, Miss.

"The camp had better competition than anywhere I've been," Shanks said. "It was more of a challenge. It went pretty good. There was more teaching and learning and technique stuff than I've done at other places. It was a real good camp."

Two players that stood out to Shanks were Hughes as well as big offensive tackle Alex Barr from Starr's Mill High in Georgia. At 6-7, 282, Barr used his length to perform well in the pass rushing drills. Shanks said he was particularly impressed with how Barr battled him when they went head to head.

Justin Shanks works on his technique at Saturday's camp.

Just heading into his junior season at Prattville, Shanks will be stepping into a starting role for the first time after serving mostly as a reserve for the Lions last year. He said because of that camps like the one Saturday give him a great chance to improve his game.

"It's pretty big," Shanks said. "Some of it is new stuff for me and I've got to get used to it. I'm just working on my speed and more on my technique. I'm working on getting off the ball and my hand placement."

Still several months after from his 11th grade season, Shanks is already piling up the interest from schools all over and has picked up a pair of very early offers in the process.

"I never knew things were going to happen this fast," Shanks said. "I thought it was going to be later on. It's all good though. I know there are going to be more and more people calling. I just have to be ready for it.

"My first offer was from South Alabama and my second one is from Auburn," he added. "I got that recently."

A standout at last Sunday's Auburn Senior Camp, Shanks received a verbal offer from the Tigers soon after he returned home. He said while he didn't really know a great deal about the new coaches at first, he's becoming more and more receptive to the Tigers as the days go by.

"It's my first Division I scholarship," Shanks said. "They have really caught my eye. I'm starting to like them. I've got of got a big interest in Auburn now."

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