Shackelford looking around

Linebacker is still a position of need for LSU in its 2009 recruiting class, and with an entire new defensive coaching staff some new prospect names are starting to surface as possibilities. A prime example of one of these new prospects is D.T. Shackelford from Decatur, Alabama.

A 3 star prospect according to, Shackelford committed to Tennessee back in early August. But after a complete overhaul of the Volunteer's coaching staff, Shackelford has started looking at other options.


"I'm still committed to Tennessee, but I'm looking around to see what else is out there," Shackelford said. "I want to make sure I'm going to the best place for me. I'm mostly looking at Ole Miss, Auburn, and possibly LSU."


Shackelford took an official visit to Auburn this past weekend. He has plans to visit Ole Miss this coming weekend, and Tennessee on January 23rd.


"I just got back from Auburn this weekend," he said. "It was pretty good, I enjoyed it. My player host was Antoine Carter. I got to see the campus and meet with the coaches and advisors."


"I have visits to Ole Miss and Tennessee coming up," Shackelford continued. "All the schools I'm still looking at are in the SEC. Anytime you can play in the SEC that's a good thing."


Another SEC school that still holds some interest from Shackelford is LSU. John Chavis, the Tigers new defensive coordinator, originally recruited Shackelford to Tennessee. But Shackelford says he's been hearing from LSU for quite some time now, even before Chavis came on board.


"I haven't talked to Coach Chavis yet since he's been there, but LSU was recruiting me hard before then," said the nation's 28th ranked strongside linebacker. "They started really coming after me in the spring, and then they came to one of my practices before my senior year. They said they really like my film and my grades. I've also heard a lot of good things about Coach Miles and how he's a players' coach."


"Coach Henson has been my recruiting coach," Shackelford continued. "I last talked to him about a month ago, but he called my coach last week. He's a good person, and he doesn't sugarcoat anything."


Though he has yet to talk with the Tigers' new defensive coordinator, Shackelford is already very familiar with Coach Chavis.


"His defenses are always good," Shackelford said. "We had a good relationship when he was at Tennessee. He's a good person and a good person to be around. He's a real good defensive coordinator. He was my recruiting coordinator when he was still at Tennessee."


Shackelford played both linebacker and defensive end his senior year at Austin High School, but he says most of the schools are recruiting him as a linebacker.


"When LSU first started recruiting me they wanted me at fullback," he said. "But after they saw my practice and my film they thought I could play either strong or weak linebacker. Auburn likes me at strong, Ole Miss likes me at middle, Tennessee at a strong/hybrid position. Coach Chavis liked that I could play two positions when he was still there."


With at least two more official visits remaining, Shackelford still has some time before making his final decision. He says that decision is going to come down to a gut feeling based on the school he is most comfortable with.


"I'm just going a gut feeling," he said. "I have to have a good relationship with the players and coaches. Playing time and all that other stuff matters, but before you step on the field you have to be welcomed."


Note: Shackelford measures in at 6-2 and 233 pounds, running a 4.62 40 yard dash. In his senior year he accounted for 90 tackles, 6 sacks, 20 tfl, 3 passes defended, and 3 fumble recoveries.


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