Scout's Analysis: DT Justin Shanks

So what does Florida State have in Prattville (AL) defensive tackle Justin Shanks, who committed Wednesday to the Seminoles? Subscribers get a snapshot from recruiting guru Chad Simmons.

Chad Simmons/
Prattville (AL) High School defensive tackle Justin Shanks is Florida State's 15th commitment for 2012 and the third from the state of Alabama.

Landing its 15th commitment already for the 2012 recruiting class, Florida State got the good news Wednesday afternoon from Prattville (AL) High School defensive tackle Justin Shanks.

At 6-4 and 320 pounds, Shanks is rated as a four-star prospect by and the No. 10 player in the country at his position. As a junior in 2010, he was credited with 50 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles for the Lions. According to Florida recruiting analyst Geoff Vogt, Shanks possesses a "wide body" and is capable of being "a space eater inside," but he can do a lot more than just occupy blockers because "athletically he has it all" and his "upside is off the charts."

For an even deeper analysis of Shanks and what kind of player he could be for the Seminoles, got together with Chad Simmons, who is the regional recruiting manager for in the South:

Strengths: Strong at the point of attack. Very active hands. Plays with good leverage. Quick off the ball.

Weaknesses: He doesn't always play with his head up to recognize where the ball is quickly. He can still improve his lateral quickness, too.

Simmons says: Shanks is an interior defensive lineman who can contribute early in college. He is physically ready, he plays for a great high school program and he is very driven on the field. expect him to be a force in the middle at FSU. He'll not only be solid against the run, but he can help collapse the pocket up the middle versus the pass as well.

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JC's take: We've got a long way to go until February, but chalk up another early victory for Florida State quarterbacks coach -- and recruiting shaman -- Dameyune Craig.

A Mobile native and former Auburn QB, Craig's influence in his home state is now impossible to ignore. With Shanks added to four-star offensive tackle Alphonse Taylor and also four-star defensive end Chris Casher, that's three of the Yellowhammer State's top prospects saying no to the likes of Alabama and Auburn in order to come to Tallahassee. Should Craig make another miracle happen and get the nod from Jameis Winston, who is's No. 2 signal caller in the nation behind recent Indiana commitment Gunner Kiel, then the former Tiger will be leading the conversation for Recruiter of the Year honors.

As far as Shanks is concerned, he is the sixth defensive linemen to say yes to the garnet and gold alongside ends Casher, Mario Edwards Jr. and Dante Fowler and fellow tackles James Hamilton and Dalvon Stuckey.

John Crist is an NFL analyst for, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.

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