For Danny Shelton, this upcoming senior season is going to be somewhat bittersweet as he has changed his number to 55 to honor his late brother Shennon , and he is looking dead on at a very high draft position in the 2015 NFL Draft.
But, before Shelton can move on to the NFL Draft there is a senior season to play for the University of Washington this fall. Overall, Shelton has a nice job throughout his career on Montlake. But, the question for Shelton heading into the 2014 season is can he end up being the most valuable player of the Husky defense.
The first reason is motivation to finish his Washington football career in the most successful manner possible. Shelton, was very close to his late brother without question. Now, the question is do any of us truly know how much of a challenge it has been for Shelton to play through the death of his brother. The simple answer is the only that could express that is Shelton himself. That is why with the number change to 55 look for Shelton to raise his level of play even more in 2014.
The next reason is Shelton’s ability to handle expectations as the preseason accolades have been piling up this summer. The Sporting News has named Shelton a first-team preseason all-American and Athlon Sports had Shelton as a third-team preseason all-American.
With these expectations comes responsibility and that is something based on Shelton’s success in the classroom should allow him to balance the pressure of being one of the nation’s best defensive tackles in all of college football.
Finally, Shelton has gotten better every year since arriving on campus as he had 36 unassisted tackles in 2013 and closed the 2013 season strong with seven tackles including six solo in the Fight Hunger Bowl win over BYU. There is no reason why Shelton won’t match if not surpass his 2013 season and take over games on his own at the line of scrimmage this fall.