A letter of intent has been received by the University of Washington from offensive lineman Coleman Shelton of Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California. The 6’4” 280-pounder just recently received an offer from the Huskies, and upon receiving the opportunity he quickly gave his verbal commitment on the 3rd of this month, so if he had done anything other than send in his letter to UW, it would have been a pretty serious surprise.
Shelton is certainly an “under the radar” type guy, in the mold of two-star offensive linemen James Atoe, Mike Criste, and Taylor Hindy, all guys from the last two years that Sark has given a scholarship late in the recruiting cycle despite a lack of hype or interest from tons of other schools. He did not have any offers from major schools until midway through last year, but his recruiting stock has been rising late in the cycle.
The varying opinions on Shelton’s potential are made clear by the disparity in his ranking from recruiting service to recruiting service. That is, he’s literally unranked as an offensive tackle by Scout while Rivals has him as a solid three-star offensive center, going so far as to say that he’s the 19th best offensive center in the class. As we all know, rankings are heavily flawed, and while they are valuable for both fans and writers, they serve basically zero purpose for coaches, who often do not mind extending an offer to a player that is held in low-esteem by Rivals or Scout or 247 as long as they see a player on tape that they think has the potential to contribute at a high level.
Shelton’s commitment came shortly after his official visit to UW this past weekend, and I think it’s something to be happy about as a fan no matter where he is ranked, because in a class that currently only includes two other offensive linemen, Andrew Kirkland and Dane Crane, adding a little bit of depth is a big bonus.