Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here's Your Shield, R.J. Shelton

The Spartans picked up their fourth commitment Sunday from Wisconsin running back R.J. Shelton.  Most of the recruiting sites haven't yet evaluated .  Only 247 has a rating for him -- 3 stars.  It also looks like the Spartan coaches got out ahead of other programs.  MSU was the first B1G program to offer Shelton, shortly thereafter he was noticed and offered by Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  It appears that Bielema personally called Shelton to try to keep him instate, but MSU's early interest seems to have paid off.

Shelton has good size (5'11" and 185 lbs), and he is listed as running the 40 in 4.5 seconds.  That seems about right; he looks like a 4.5 guy in his video:
The immediate reaction is to see Shelton as the next Edwin Baker, as they move in a similar way.  If you look at this next video of Baker (at the 1:15 mark), you can see that Baker was bigger and more powerful in high school.  He may also have been faster -- according to Scout he ran the 40 in 4.4 seconds. 

Shelton was only a junior in his video, so some physical improvement seems likely. Nonetheless, Shelton already shows some excellent talent and athleticism.  He's another guy who makes you realize that it's too early to panic about recruiting.  After all, how can anyone be upset about taking a running back with competing offers from Iowa and Wisconsin?

Shelton's commitment should wrap up the running back recruiting, between Shelton and Holmes the Spartans have secured a speed/power back combo.  The Spartans now have 5 young guys who could step in for Caper after 2012 or Bell should he leave early for the draft.  

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