"I haven't set any visits yet, but I'm starting to think about them," said Shirley. "I'm almost down to my top 10 so I'm kind of getting those evaluated."
While Shirley didn't say name many schools who will likely make that list, he did admit that the two local schools would be finding themselves on it.
"UCLA and USC, those are the only two schools that I know for sure will be on it," said Shirley. "They are the safe bets to make it. I'm working on my other eight and my brother (NFL player Jason Shirley) has been helping me with that."
Shirley is planning to take all five trips, though UCLA and USC aren't likely to be on the receiving end of his visits.
"I'll go and take official visits outside the state, instead of the ones just around the corner," said Shirley. "I'm thinking that I might take a visit to Notre Dame and Tennessee and I'd do those during the season. I'm also thinking about schools like Miami, Arizona and Washington."
Shirley is planning on visiting USC and UCLA in the next couple weeks during their fall camps, as well as taking in games at the Rose Bowl and Coliseum. When it comes to making an announcement, Shirley has a plan. "I'm most likely going to announce at the U.S. Army Game," said Shirley. "I'm very excited to be playing in that game. So I'm hoping to take all of my visits before the Army game."
Shirley said that with all of the schools recruiting him, UCLA has been recruiting him the hardest, but USC has one of their committed players doing the heavy lifting.
"UCLA is probably the school recruiting me the hardest. I think I talk to Coach (Rick) Neuheisel as much as I talk to Coach (Wayne) Moses. But Anthony (Brown, Shirley's Kaiser teammate committed to USC), he's definitely trying to work on me too for USC."
Shirley has played exclusively with his hand down for Kaiser, but several schools have told him that outside linebacker, in a pass rushing role, could be his ultimate destination.
"I'm open to playing linebacker," said Shirley. "I mean, if I had my choice, I'd play end, but sometimes I'd say life doesn't always go the way you want it. And I just have some great opportunities."
This fall, though, Shirley can expect to find himself all over the field for Kaiser.
"In some formations, I might be over the center, depending on where the weakest point of the offensive line is," said Shirley. "I'll be playing some tackle and I'll be playing tight end. I love being out there. We start on September 11th against Apple Valley."
He's also set some goals, statistically, for the upcoming season.
"For tackles, I want to get 100 solo tackles and for sacks, I want to get 26 sacks," said Shirley. "More importantly, I want to win a CIF championship. The stats are always a nice plus."
Shirley had a big junior year, earning First Team All-State Underclass and Third Team All-Golden State honors by GoldenStatePreps.com, one of only ten underclassmen selected to the All-Golden State team. He finished the year with 88 tackles, 17 sacks, 12 knocked-down passes and three forced fumbles.