BYU lands two-time Junior Olympian

The BYU coaches have been on the prowl for a topnotch cornerback, and they found one in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wakefield High School's Michael Shelton was offered by BYU on Friday, and he subsequently committed to the coaches.

It didn't take long for 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound Michael Shelton to commit to BYU after receiving his scholarship offer on Friday. The two-way athlete and track star made up his mind quickly.

"I called up and talked to Coach Howell first and he told me to call up Coach Mendenhall to let him know that I was committing," said Shelton. "So, I called up Coach Mendenhall and talked to him to let him know that I was coming to BYU. He was very excited."

The coaches weren't the only people happy to hear the news.

"My family was very happy that I committed," Shelton said. "They feel it's a great move for me. I really wanted to go to BYU and I based my decision a lot off of the coaching staff and a visit I took there early on in the month of June. I came a little early before I went to the camp and the coaching staff treated me like I was already a player on their team. I liked that a lot. I became really close friends throughout this process with Coach Howell and Coach Mendenhall. I love their personalities and just got really close with the coaching staff, and it made me want to go there even more."

Coach Howell was the coach that recruited Shelton.

"I really like Coach Howell," Shelton said. "He a young guy and someone I feel I can really relate to. He's very enthusiastic and he's very knowledgeable about the DB position, so I feel I can learn a lot from him being a part of his program."

What was it about Coach Mendenhall that caused him to gravitate towards BYU's head coach?

"He's a guy who means what he says, so he isn't going to lower his standards for anyone," said Shelton. "People like that you respect and favor, and so that's why I gravitated towards him a lot."

Shelton previously visited BYU during Junior Day, and had a great experience in Provo.

"There were a lot of athletes out there at a bunch of positions," said Shelton. "It's such a different atmosphere out there and it's really cool. It's really different than being out here on the East Coast as far as the type of atmosphere out at BYU goes, but the experience was different as far as the caliber of players. They play totally different out here on this side of the country. It was nice to see a different kind of talent.

"The mountains out there stood out quite a bit, but as far as my campus experience, as far as looking over the facilities and over campus and things like that, [it] was very clean and very spiritual. It's very spiritual as far as religion-wise. As far as my religion, BYU fits me perfect because I have high morals and standards."

Shelton prides himself on demonstrating good leadership skills.

"As far as my character goes, I believe in myself and I have a lot of leadership characteristics," said Shelton. "I've been in a lot of leadership situations and I think that's something BYU likes. I also have high morals and values and expect me to be the best in school, sports and in myself. I know that's what BYU also looked a lot in me when they recruited me as a player out there. I think as far as morals, characteristics and as a person as a whole, I fit what they're looking for at BYU."

Out on the football field, Shelton plays various positions on both sides of the ball. When he's not playing offense or defense, he's fielding punts and kick returns as well.

"As far as a defensive back on the defensive side of the ball, I have a pretty good eye for the ball," Shelton said. "When the ball goes in the air, I'm there. You can count on me being there. I'm very quick and have good footwork and speed."

"He's a physical player and a lot of corners kind of shy away from that side of the game," said Scout.com's Michael Clark, who evaluates talent in the East. "He's a good athlete and has very good feet and is sound technique-wise. He doesn't shy away from contact and tries to make big plays.

"He plays receiver, returns kicks, plays corner and looks like he can do it all, so he'll probably get some early playing time in his college career. He has really quick feet, runs well, and reads the quarterback well and does the kinds of things that you want in a cornerback. It definitely looks like BYU got themselves a very good player."

Shelton boasts some very impressive numbers when it comes to speed and agility.

"My fastest forty was a 4.43 and that was timed at a camp," said Shelton. "My fastest shuttle is a 3.91 and my vertical is a 38. I'm pretty strong for my size. My bench is 275 and my squat this year was 455. That comes from a lot of speed and quickness."

Shelton puts that speed and quickness to good use out on the track. The main events he competes in are the 200 meters and 400 meters.

"My time in the 200 was a 22.1. In the 400 I just run by myself, and my time there was, I think, a 49."

Shelton is also a two-time Junior Olympian.

"A Junior Olympian for track and field is like a summer track event that's not related to high school track," said Shelton. "You run during the summer for a club and you go to certain meets and that gets you qualified. For example, you go to a state meet, then to a regional meet and at the regional meet you qualify for a national meet. You compete against athletes from all over the country in your event. I came in first place and I have two gold medals in the 800. I got a gold medal in my sophomore year and my junior year. I was the best 800-meter athlete in the nation my sophomore and junior season."

That type of endurance will come in handy while facing BYU's fast-paced offense when it comes time for him to step out on the practice field as a Cougar. His endurance also allows him to play on both sides of the ball for Wakefield High School.

"Yeah, now you know why I play both ways," he said with a laugh. "On the defensive side of the ball I had around seven or eight interceptions this past year. I know I had the second highest [amount of] tackles on the team.

"On the offensive side of the ball for this past season I had around 600 or so yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. I believe BYU wants me as a DB and that's what they recruited me as."

"He's got really quick feet and quick hands and BYU got a really good player," said Clark.


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