Josh Shelton impressed with Commodores
"It's been great," said Josh Shelton on the season. "We're still playing. Our fourth round game with Whitehaven is coming up Friday night. I think it's wide-open this year and have as good a shot as any to win state."
Shelton's numbers have slightly increased from a strong junior showing, especially in the tackling department. Last year he made 44 tackles, this year he's had more than 50. He's about the same in pass breakups with nine. A year ago he had four blocks, and this year he's made a remarkable seven (four on extra point attempts and three on punts).
"Tackling is what I feel like I've improved upon the most," Shelton said. "I'm also doing better at pressing my man off the line. Staying with my assignment in man-to-man is about the same. It's something I've always felt has been there for me. We run a 4-2-5 defense, similar to what they do at Vanderbilt."
Vanderbilt is one of the schools in pursuit of Shelton. He's also been offered by Arkansas, Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee State, Jackson State, and Alabama State.
"I haven't taken any of my official visits yet," said Shelton. "I've just been to games. I was at the Arkansas-Vandy game, the Georgia Tech-MTSU game, and the TSU-UT Martin game. I'm still open with all of the schools that have offered me. I'm trying to narrow my list now, but probably won't make any decision until February."
Although Shelton won't name favorites at the moment he's been impressed with what he's seen so far at Vanderbilt under first year coach, James Franklin.
"Coach Franklin is focused on what he's doing there," said Shelton. "I felt like they should have won a lot of those games they were in, but came up a little short. He's changed the program, and I think they're real close to taking the next step forward."
If Mount Juliet is able to get past Whitehaven, they will play the winner of the Maryville-Riverdale game at Cookeville, Tenn. for a shot at the 6A championship on December 3rd. Shelton will waste no time getting back to work when the season ends.
"I'm going to be working out with my trainer and plan on running track in the spring," he said. "I'd like to add at least 10 pounds before I go off to college. I'm going to take my time deciding where to go. It will come down to the program I feel like I fit in the best."
Shelton has been selected for the Toyota East/West Tennessee All-Star Game in Jefferson City on December 10th. His teammates, Kaleem Harris and Jacob Wyre, were also selected for the East squad.
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