That's putting it lightly, as you can see for yourself in the pictures taken at the Scout.com Combine today. At 6-3, 220 lbs., this is one of the most physically impressive linebackers you'll see.
And offers? Oh, he's got those and then some, pick the major program and they are probably somewhere on his list:
And the list goes on.
18 total, by his count, and even now he's still surprised by it all. "I definitely didn't expect it. I never thought it would get like this," said Shirley, whose most recent offer was from Notre Dame, which comes just four months after his first one in writing. "But it doesn't mean anything as far as how I feel how good I am. I always need to get better."
Participating in the Scout.com combines in Los Angeles Shirley didn't do any testing. That's not what he was there to do. It was about facing off against some of the other top prospects around the state. The one-on-one drills, all those opportunities to test himself to see where he's at.
To that end he said that he was happy with how he did, but as seems typical for him, he sees areas where he wants to improve. "The one-on-one drills are the best, because it's just you and another person fighting it out. Those are the drills I enjoy," he said. "I saw things I liked, some things I want to do better, but overall I was pretty happy with how I did."
This young man by all accounts, is a freak. Physically he's impressive, and his measurables only go to solidify that status as one of the elite at his position. He had 17 sacks from the linebacker position last year along with three forced fumbles and a total of 85 sacks on the year. Shirley benches 385, squats 495, power cleans 280, jumps 35 inches and he runs the 40 at a 4.55-pace.
Yeah, a freak.
And his defensive mind-set follows suit. It's a question I often ask of all defensive players, the one around what they would describe as a defensive player's mentality. His answer is simple:
"Kill. That's it. You have to want to destroy the guy on the other side of the ball," he said.
And if that player happens to have the ball, but doesn't see him coming?
"It's about to be a bad day for him," Shirley replied.
As for Nebraska and where they are in this mix of the who's who of college football, Shirley said that he's talked to the big red, and, of course, one of his many offers is from them. But he isn't that up on the Huskers, but he said of all his schools which have offered, he plans on learning a lot more. "I'd like to get my list down to five teams if I can by the end of Summer. I just want to get it narrowed down a bit," he said. "But I don't have any favorites right now. I know that. And distance and weather aren't a factor at all."
No early decision, as you might expect, and you can also figure that as many offers as he has now, he'll have only more continue to roll in. That's fine with him, but not because he thinks he deserves them. Each one he gets is just another motivation to deserve the next one even more. "You can't stop wanting to get better. If you do, that's it," he said. "You'll never be perfect, so these offers are great, but that makes me work harder, so I can prove that I have earned them."
Shirley reports a 3.3 GPA