J.B. Shugarts: Top Texas Prospect for 2008?

Klein offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts is without question one of the most dominant high school offensive linemen in the nation. In fact, he is potentially the top prospect in the entire state of Texas for the class of 2008. Almost every elite program would love to get their hands on Shugarts and several schools have already offered verbal scholarships.

"They are all verbal because I can't get written ones yet, but I have offers from Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida and Miami. A lot of schools tell me that they are going to offer when they can in writing," Shugarts said.

Shugarts doesn't have a leader right now, but each school has different qualities that appeal to him. It is far too early for a player of his caliber to start picking favorites and he echoed that when asked if one school stood out among the others.

"Not right now. It's too early," Shugarts said. "I like all of them. They all have good things to offer. I like something about each of them."

Shugarts did rattle off a number of schools that he is interested in

"I like all of them right now. That is why I went to a lot of camps this summer," Shugarts said. "I really like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU and Florida."

The 6-foot-7, 295 pound Shugarts runs the 40-yard dash in 5.15 seconds and earned first team all-district for his performance as a sophomore. Klein High School is known strictly for their running game. Despite having little pass-blocking experience, Shugarts believes that his quickness and footwork will allow him to excel on the next level.

"At my school, all we do is run the ball. We don't pass the ball that much," Shugarts said. "On my film, I am a really good run blocker. I'm really quick off the ball. When we do pass block, I don't give up many sacks. I did really well at the one-on-one drills at the camps I went to. I have a really quick first step, and I have quick hands."

Over the summer, Shugarts stayed very busy attending football camps and making unofficial visits at some very prestigious Big 10, Big 12, and SEC schools.

"I went to the Texas A&M, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida camps," Shugarts said. "I also went on unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Penn State."

Shugarts plans to take several more unofficial visits over the next few months. He plans on checking out the college football atmosphere in some of the most electrifying stadiums across the nation.

"I'm going to the Texas vs. Ohio State game," Shugarts said. "And I'm going to try to get up for a home game at Ohio State. I was going to try to go to the Penn State vs. Ohio State game and I am going to the Red River Shootout. I'm going to a lot of A&M games. I don't know which ones but all my friends go there. I only live about an hour away from College Station."

So what is Shugarts looking for in a school?

"Academics is a big part of it," Shugarts said. "But when it actually comes down to football, it's the opportunity to win. I'm looking at what they have to offer like what kind of players are already there and what kind of players they are bringing in. The coaches and my position coach are important. I want to win a national championship. Pretty much every school that I'm into could contend for a national championship in the next five years."

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