"Oh man, right now I'm just really excited that I'm finally a BYU Cougar," Shelton said. "I'm just really excited about getting a head start in a great program. I'm just really, really excited right now and I'm really anxious. I know I can't be too anxious but I'm just really excited about today."
Shelton made the decision to graduate early from high school and enroll at BYU so he could join his future teammates and get to work. He's a very serious young man with a focused and mature approach to his future.
"Going in early was a big decision that I wanted to make to get a head start on getting bigger, stronger, faster," said Shelton. "That's what it's all about at this point at the college level. That's what my intentions were. BYU recruited me as a corner so I want to get out there and get started in that program. I want to get out there and get bigger and faster. Right now I'm just working out getting ready to go out to BYU so I can focus on the future."
Listed at 5 foot-9 inches and 170 pounds, Shelton is known for two things: speed and coverage skills. His speed enabled him to be a multi-faceted player on Wakefield High School's football team as a cornerback, receiver, and punt returner. A gifted player with a 4.43 second forty-yard dash and a 38 inch vertical jump, Shelton will bring a variety skill sets to BYU.
"I probably ended with seven or eight interceptions on the season this year, so if you tried to look up a lot of my stats some of them aren't correct because my coaches haven't put up all the stats," said Shelton. "I had around 50 tackles on the season. I also played receiver and had around 20 catches for around 277 yards. I also had around five or six touchdown returns, so I believe I had a pretty good senior season this past year."
A gold-medal winner in the 800-meter race in the United States Track and Field Junior Olympics Championships, the Cougar coaches plan on utilizing Shelton's speed and running ability in 2014.
"I don't plan on redshirting and the coaches said that wasn't in the plans right now," said Shelton. "I'm just going to go out there and do my best and show the coaches what I've got. I want to use my speed to try and help the coaches in any way I can to help the program go forward."
While Shelton, who is LDS, doesn't have plans to serve a mission, although he might serve after his first year at BYU, if that is something he feels he needs to do.
"I've talked to the coaches and told them that I wasn't planning on going on a mission right now," Shelton said. "They want me to not redshirt, so I plan on playing this year. After my first year there at BYU things could change. I may decide to go on my mission after my first year. I just want to get my first year in and then go from there." Shelton continued "The other thing about the program at BYU is it is very fair. They'll allow kids that want to go on a mission and then plan their football program around that. That's one thing that is great about BYU."
Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach Nick Howell was Shelton's primary recruiter. The two built up a great relationship that held strong throughout the entire recruiting process.
"Coach Howell is a great guy and I just left Provo this past weekend and was hanging out with him on my official visit," said Shelton. "He really is a wonderful man and a great person. From what the other guys have been telling me he can be tough on them, but they always tell me that it's out of love for wanting you to be the best you can be. I'm already really excited about being mentored and coached by him and the other members on the staff."
This past weekend while Michael Shelton was on his official visit to BYU, he spent a lot of time with Coach Howell, Former BYU cornerback and current Graduate Assistant Preston Hadley, and Director of Player Personnel Geoff Martzen. The three BYU staff members took such good care of Shelton, the young recruit from North Carolina didn't want to go home.
"I was out there by myself and was out there last Friday evening," Shelton said. "I went out to eat with Geoff Martzen, who is the director of player personnel, and Preston Hadley who is a former BYU football player. We went out to eat at Tucano's and then on Saturday morning Coach Howell came and picked me up and we went snowmobiling. Man, that was a lot of fun! It really gave me a great idea of the kind of experience I'm going to have out there. I'll tell you what. I did not want to leave! I did not want to leave! I had so much fun with those guys and just being out there with Coach Howell, Preston Hadley and Geoff Martzen that I wanted to just stay out there."
Shelton admits his highlight of the weekend was the snowmobile adventure in the mountains along the Wasatch front.
"Yeah, I would say the snowmobiling was probably the highlight of the weekend official visit," Shelton said. "I've never even seen that much snow before in my life, so going out and playing in it on a snowmobile was just a lot of fun. I went out with there with those guys and some of the tour guides. It was just a lot of fun."
It seems like each year we hear of a recruit or coach nearly hitting a tree while out snowmobiling. Shelton reported that neither he, Coach Howell, or Geoff Martzen who were snowmobiling with him, got too crazy and became a victim of a Douglas Fir or Bristlecone Pine.
"No, no everyone was safe," Shelton said with a laugh. "There were no crashes into trees or anything like that. One of our guides did tell me of a story of how a lot of recruits would go crazy and run off the trail and hitting trees and getting hurt. Nothing that like happened with us though. We're all good and safe."
Having had many great experiences with every visit to BYU, Shelton is excited to get going. He is excited to be a part of the BYU experience, knowing the type of fan support that's present at BYU. He's excited to be a part of a program that is so much more than just football.
"I've been up to BYU a few times as a fan to watch games this past season," Shelton said. "I know what the Cougar family is like all over the nation and they're very loyal everywhere. I'm very grateful for the program, the coaches and the opportunity they and Geoff Martzen, BYU's director of player personnel, have given me. The BYU fan base is one of the best in the country and that's in every sport. I'm just really thankful for everything. BYU is a place where I can go focus on my education and athletics while not having to worry about all the crazy stuff and things that go on at the college level.
Shelton summed up his thoughts on the position he is in right now by explaining the type of person he wants to become.
"I've also been placed in a lot of leadership positions and been put in a position to be an example to others. Right now I'm just trying to set an example to my young ones in my family. I'm LDS so I also want to set an example to all the LDS kids in my ward. I want to be an example to others and I think going to be my best at BYU will help do that. I'm just ready to get going here in about two week and starting a new chapter in my life."
Welcome to BYU, Michael Shelton.