Bruins In Top Five for Washington DT

Auburn (Wash.) defensive tackle Danny Shelton has UCLA in his early top five, behind the hometown Washington Huskies, as he continues to learn more about the Bruin program...

Danny Shelton, the 6-foot-3, 286-pound three-star defensive tackle from Auburn Senior High School in Auburn, Wash., got his first scholarship offer in January, from California, and has received seven more since then from Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford and Idaho.

Washington is the only school he's already visited. "But that's because they're so close," Shelton said about the Huskies, who are about 30-minutes away.

"I'm not sure if the distance is going to be important yet," he said. "I'm trying to visit as many as I can and I'll decide later whether I'll want to stay close or not."

Shelton admits that his mom would probably prefer if he didn't stray too far away. "She's Samoan and she doesn't know a lot about football, but she's happy I've got scholarships," he said.

"She's gonna be very important in my decision," he admitted. "I think she'd like it if I stayed close, but she doesn't have a preference right now."

Besides the location, Shelton says he also likes Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian. "I love how he's turning the program around," he said. "It's a great campus and I like the area a lot. I know some players on the team already too."

Shelton said he now favors the Huskies slightly over Oregon, UCLA, Stanford and Cal.

He says he may attend the Oregon Junior Day on April 3 with his high school coach. "He has a nephew or cousin or something like that who goes there," he said. "He really likes Oregon and they seem like a good program. They are good every year, plus it's not too far away either. I think they're only a few hours drive."

Shelton actually lived in Sacramento, Calif., for about six years and says he still has family in northern California. Despite that, he's never visited Stanford or Cal.

"I really like that Cal was the first to offer me," he said. "They've been after me hard and show they really want me. Cal is also kind of known to have lots of island guys like me too.

"The academics at Stanford are incredible," he said. "I keep hearing how you're set for life with a Stanford degree."

Shelton says the Cardinal have spoken with him about their academic admissions. "They told me the classes I'd need to take next year to get in," he said. "I don't remember what they said about the SAT though."

He's scheduled to take the SAT for the first time in May. He has a 3.6 core GPA.

Growing up, Shelton admits he used to follow USC. "When I lived in Sacramento I loved watching USC," he said.

The Trojans aren't recruiting him, but cross-town rival UCLA has already offered Shelton.

"UCLA has a good defense," he said. "And they have great coaches. The program is coming up too, but I've actually only seen them play a few times. I don't know a lot yet."

Shelton plans on taking his time during the recruiting process. "I'm gonna go through the whole thing," he said. "I'll take all five of my visits and probably won't decide until near signing day. I haven't been to many places and I really want the opportunity to travel to new places and meet new people.

"I just want to feel comfortable with the school and the coaches and players," he said. "I also want to see if there's a shot I can start as a freshman. That's my goal."

Shelton finished his junior season with 55 tackles.

"I think I do well with run stopping," he said. "I'm pretty aggressive and go after the passer. I play hard and I'm very strong too. I play physical and I'm always moving to the ball."

He says he can bench 405-pounds, squat 500 and has a 26-inch vertical jump.

"I want to get faster (claims 5.3 forty speed)," he said. "I had to drop some weight for wrestling, so I want to bulk up a bit more too.

"I'm also working on my technique and getting all my moves down," he said.

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