Shelton talks about commitment to UW

Usually, Auburn DT Danny Shelton likes to do his talking on the football field and since he committed to Washington on New Year's Eve he hasn't really spoken much on why he committed to Washington. caught up with the talented defensive lineman recently and he filled us in on why he chose the Huskies as well as why he plans to visit UCLA this weekend...

Shelton took part in the Offense/Defense All-Star Game held in South Carolina and admitted he was a bit intimidated while he was down there, but that changed soon after he saw his first double-team.

"That was a great experience" Shelton said. "I got to play with some of the top players in the nation and it sorta gave me a preview of what I can expect from college once I get there.

"At first I thought it was going to be crazy and those guys were going to dominate me, but I did pretty well against them and it gave me a lot of confidence because if some of the top players in the nation are double-teaming me, I was able to take that as a compliment."

While he was there, Shelton decided to announce his college decision after narrowing things down to Washington and Oregon.

"Before I left, everybody was hassling me and trying go get the decision from me and I told them they were going to have to wait and hear about it," Shelton recalled. "A lot of people at my school liked Washington, but a lot liked Oregon too, because of their jerseys, and I tell people that I grew up not having a lot as a kid and I feel like I don't really need a lot and I could still maintain and do well without all the flashy accessories and stuff, so I just told them that Washington is the best place for me and I don't need all the Oregon stuff.

"I believe that Washington's D-line will be better than Oregon's next year and the next couple years too."

With recruiting being about an 18-month cycle for top recruits like Shelton, he admitted that it took him a little while to really grasp what his decision meant.

"After I called coach (Steve) Sarkisian and coach Azz (Oregon DL coach Jerry Azzinaro) afterwards, it took me a while to catch on with it because I didn't realize what I just did, but after talking to the other players at the all-star game, I started to feel more confident in my decision and I was pretty proud of my decision because there were still some players that were like 'I wish Oregon was recruiting me because I'd go there', but they just liked them because of their jerseys.

"Coach Azz, he has the best character, because I thought it was going to be bad calling him, but he said he was happy for me and happy for my family and my decision."

Shelton said as far as who was more excited, it was a close call between Sarkisian and his mom, but that his mom was slightly more excited.

"Coach Sark was pretty excited," Shelton said with a chuckle, adding, "but in the end it was my mom because of the way she was hugging me and that she was proud of me and that's the best feeling you can have, making your mom proud of you."

Typically this time of year, Shelton is wrestling and trying to cut weight in order to be eligible, however, this year he isn't wrestling, opting instead to help the team out by training with the top heavyweight wrestler for the Trojans while also staying in good cardio-shape.

"Right now I'm just working out and gaining strength and muscle back," Shelton said. "I'm about 6'2" and 315 right now."

On his visit to UCLA this weekend, Shelton said he remains committed to Washington, even going so far as to tell the Bruin coaches that he's going to end up a Husky, but he'll visit Westwood this weekend after getting his families blessing.

"As a kid, growing up, we really didn't have the opportunity to visit nice places," Shelton said. "We were usually in the rough neighborhoods and stuff and there are places I always wanted to visit and like I said, growing up I really didn't have a chance to see places, so I'm just taking my visits to check out places I haven't been to.

"I've already visited UCLA before, but my family thinks it's a good thing for me to go see things again."

When asked what the chances are of him signing with Washington, Shelton was unequivocal in his thoughts.

"I'd say it's 100%," Shelton said.

We will continue to check in with Shelton as he gets closer to signing his name on the dotted line February 2nd.

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