Shakeel is very focused on the fundamentals of the game and works hard at accomplishing his main goal, which is to be a productive member of his team. He's been able to mature on the field this season and has already noticed the dividends.
"My goal for myself this season was really to do my job each play. I felt like last year I tried to do too much and needed to focus on my job and once I've done that I can move on to focusing on the rest of the play. I also focused on doing the little things right each play and in practice," he revealed.
His hard work is already showing rewards in the form of scholarship offers. North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Central Florida, Maryland, Duke, and Boston College have all offered him, with more interest coming from Miami, Florida, and Rutgers.
"I have been offered by UNC, South Carolina, Wake Forest, UCF, Maryland, Duke, and Boston College. I have spoken to others like Rutgers, Miami, and Florida. They are all great schools, but at this point my favorite is UNC, the education is great. I loved the campus, and enjoy the North Carolina area," Rashad said.
He's already been busy visiting the campuses of his top choices, and has more in store during next season.
"I visited UCF, UNC, and Florida this season for games. I enjoyed all three visits but the one that stood out was UNC. My brother played for UCF so I already knew a lot about their program, and I've been going to a few Florida games a year since I was young. I visited UNC for the first time this summer and enjoyed it enough to go see it again for the Va. Tech game. I have also been to Wake Forest a few times for camps with my team and went again this past summer, but did not go for a game. I have been to South Carolina twice in the past but did not go for a game this season. I probably will visit this year at some point," he explained.
He's taking his time with his decision, but would like to be closer when fall rolls around.
"I don't want to rush my decision, but my ideal time for committing would be before my senior season. If I'm not able to make a sure decision by then I will wait until I need to. Staying near home would be nice, but if the right college for me happens to be far away I would be willing to pack my bags and go wherever I needed to for the right place," Rashad mentioned.
He's very realistic and understands the complexity of competing at the college level. This understanding is helping him make a decision that's going to pave the way for his future.
"Playing time will be a factor in my choice but not a large one. I would like a chance to compete for a job as a freshman, but I also understand that College football is a whole new game and not everyone will be ready their first year on campus. The coaching staff will also have a role but every school will have a great staff with a lot to offer," Rashad discussed. "As long as I feel comfortable around the coaches and players that won't be a problem. Academics are also very important, football could end at any second and a good education will always be there." He's staying focused in the classroom as well, and has done very well so far.
"I am doing well in school; I have about a 3.1 or 3.2 GPA. I have taken the SAT once and got a 1080 but I plan to take it again. I may also take the ACT," he finished.