Shawn Shamburger knows where he’s playing his college football and is hanging the “Gone Fishing” sign up in the front door for coaches knocking.
Programs such as Mississippi and more recently Georgia have turned up their pursuit of the Colquitt County (Ga.) High School cornerback, but it’s too little, too late. He's a Tennessee Volunteer.
“Yeah, they’re (Georgia) coming hard at me, but as of today, I’m shutting down my recruitment, and I will be attending the University of Tennessee,” Shamburger said Sunday after an official visit to Knoxville.
The Scout three-star cornerback added that he’s “not visiting anywhere else.”
“Honestly, I feel like this is where I need to be,” Shamburger said. “I feel like I need to focus on this more. When I made the commitment, I made a commitment. I’m a man of my word; I’m going to stick to my word. There’s no need for me to go visit any other school. I feel like this is also taking a load off my shoulders knowing that signing day is right around the corner. It’s taking a load off my shoulders. Now I can focus on my academics and get that part of this down. That’s really a big part of it.”
The Scout No. 69 cornerback in the 2017 class and No. 6 in the Peach State brought his parents with him to Knoxville on Friday and stayed until Sunday afternoon. He’d been educated on life as a Tennessee Volunteer already, so the time wasn’t loaded with surprises.
“Honestly, nothing that I didn’t know already,” Shamburger said. “It’s a beautiful place, it’s a lovely place, I love it here. I honestly just came up with my family so they can kind of get a feel for everything that’s going on and really get a sense of where they see everything at. I’m still fully committed here.”
Tennessee coaches made their way to Moultrie, Georgia, on Wednesday to check in on the future Vols defensive back, but they were not able to share time with his parents. That changed this weekend.
“It was a matter of getting better accustomed because they never met my mother and my father,” Shamburger said. “They never met them, and it was their first time for them to come up here. So for my official, for them to be up here, it was a great experience for them. I feel like it’s some things they can take home. I feel more secure knowing I’m going to be in great hands here at the University of Tennessee. I feel like that’s where my motive was for this weekend and that’s where I was leaning towards.”
Tennessee has a new defensive backs coach as Charlton Warren came over from North Carolina to replace Willie Martinez on Monday.
http://www.scout.com/college/tennessee/story/1747713-tremendous-opportun...“Me and him spent a lot of time together,” Shamburger said of Warren. “We talked one-on-one a lot. We actually looked at a few defensive strategies and things of this nature. Well, not defensive strategy, but looking at things he did in the past and stuff with UNC. We came together and we just talked and kind of bonded together. He’s more of a father figure to me now. So because of that, I love him.
“Going into it, you have a new guy, so you really have a clean slate. There’s nothing to be worried about. As far as coming in, I feel like I have a shot just as anyone else coming in.”
Tennessee graduated a pair of starting cornerbacks in Malik Foreman and Cameron Sutton. Shamburger is a candidate to take the reins on a first-string spot.
“I feel as if if I come in and grind and do what I’m supposed to do and buy into the system, I feel like I will have the chance to start,” he said.
“They talked to me about nickel and corner, but you have to be a utility player, you have to be able to play everywhere. I mean there’s no one spot that I’m going to be locked into.”
The future Tennessee defender was joined by a host of 2017 classmates in Knoxville.
“Oh my God, they’re a bunch of characters, man,” he said. “It’s really fun knowing that those guys are coming in with me, knowing that’s my class, those are my brothers. We have a group (text) message, so I mean we’re really getting in touch with each other, like following up with one other, how everybody is doing on their officials and if they’re stopping and everything. It’s good.”
Visitors spent time trying on Tennessee uniforms in the Peyton Manning Locker Room, posing for pictures in the NIKE gear. They also made their way to the top of Neyland Stadium and got a clear night’s look at campus and the Tennessee River.
“It was very overwhelming you know, very fun,” Shamburger said. “Being around all the new guys, it’s intriguing.”
Shamburger spent time with fellow cornerback commit Cheyenne Labruzza, who was also on his official visit to Rocky Top.
“Cheyenne is a great athlete; I feel like he’s a tremendous person,” Shamburger said. “I feel like we’re going to come in and make some noise in the SEC. I feel like we have a legitimate shot to come in and play. I feel like we’ll have the best secondary in the SEC next year.”
The 5-foot-11 ½, 189-pounder wanted to wear No. 12 at Tennessee but that’s occupied by Emmanuel Moseley. The next top option is No. 9, which was vacated by Derek Barnett.