Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) four-star linebacker Rocky Shelton won his third state championship in as many years at St. Thomas Aquinas High School when the Raiders ran over Tampa-Plant 45-6 in the Florida Class 7A title game on Friday night.
Shelton played a big role in his team’s success as a junior this season, finishing second on the defense in tackles as part of a unit that allowed just 8.2 points per game and recorded four shutouts.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Shelton, who said the third title feels even sweeter than the first two.
“It’s awesome to be a three-time winner,” Shelton said. “This one is better than the others because I am one of the only players to get three rings out of all the great players that have played at this program.
“I first thank God that I stayed injury free. I also learned a lot about leadership from our seniors. I have to play that back next year if we want to continue the same winning tradition.”
Shelton, a Rivals250 and ESPN300 prospect in the 2018 class, has nearly 20 offers to his name, highlighted by ones from Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, Michigan State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Though Clemson hasn’t offered, Shelton is receiving some interest from Clemson in the form of mail.
Shelton said he has long been a fan of the Tigers, and he hopes to visit Clemson in the near future.
“We want to visit Clemson in the spring or summer,” he said. “It would be great to hear from them. That’s a school that I’ve always been high on.”
Shelton would like the opportunity to meet Clemson defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables when the time comes.
“I definitely would like to talk to coach Venables and see all of the athletic facilities and players’ dorms,” Shelton said.
“I want to get a feel for the campus and surrounding areas,” he added. “I want to visit with a business academic advisor since that’s what I want to major in.”
Right now, Shelton is keeping his lengthy list of options open and letting his recruiting process play out.
Which schools are recruiting him the hardest at this time?
“I hear mostly from Duke, Penn State, West Virginia, Tennessee, Auburn, North Carolina and Wisconsin,” Shelton said.
This season, Shelton attended games at Penn State and Miami.
“I really enjoyed PSU,” he said. “The coaches were great, and it was awesome to see that many people attend a football game.”
As a sophomore in 2015, Shelton recorded 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble.
Photo credit: HUDL.com