The nation’s No. 20 rated receiver who scored a touchdown in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl committed to Tennessee before concluding his official visit to Knoxville today. Shelley, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect is from Fort Smith, Ark., and fills a critical need at a position in which all the current players are entering their third or fourth year. He also helps ease the pain of losing Turner while bringing many of the same qualities to the role.
Shelley caught 192 passes during his football career at Southside High School for 2,752 yards and 39 TDs, helping lead the Rebels to the Class 6A State title as a junior. He averaged 64 catches for 917 yards and 13 TDs over three seasons as a starter. Throughout his high school career he averaged nearly six catches per contest for 75 yards and 1.1 touchdowns. Shelley also averaged 29.1 yards per kick return and doubled as a starter at cornerback in 2004. In the U.S. Army All-American Bowl he caught four passes for 37 yards and a 13-yard TD all in the second quarter of the one-sided game.
“Tennessee has been recruiting him since 2003,” said his father. “He liked it that Coach Fulmer came to school and spent time talking to him. Once he got up there and saw the stadium and facilities he was ready to commit.”
In addition to Fulmer’s late pitch, Shelley was recruited by Steve Caldwell and receivers coach Pat Washington. Caldwell has had a lot of success recruiting Arkansas adding another all-American to a list of players that include: Cedric Houston and Bret Smith.
According to his father, Shelley plans to major in business and will enroll during the summer to learn the offense and train with UT’s quarterbacks and receivers.
In addition to football, Shelley is also a standout basketball player who played AAU in the summer. He has 4.5 speed and excellent leaping ability.
“What can you say about Slick?,” Southside head coach Barry Lunney said. “He’s just a talented young man who goes out there and gives us everything he has.”
Shelley is the ninth U.S. Army All American to commit to Tennessee. Miami safety Kenneth Phillips could bring that total to a perfect 10.