Antonio Shelton, ladies and gentlemen!
Hometown/High School: Westerville, OH/Westerville North
Height/Weight: 6'3"/280 lbs.
Recruited By: Terry Smith, Sean Spencer
Starz n' Sheetz:
Starz: 3* Across the board
Sheetz: Penn State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa State, Rutgers, Toledo
Shelton had been an Illinois commit up until receiving an offer from Penn State on January 23. Two days later, he received an in-home visit from James Franklin and Sean Spencer and de-committed from the Illini. To cap things off, Shelton visited Penn State this weekend and left a Penn State commit.
Defensive tackle was always going to be a position of need this offseason with the departures of starters Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel and top backup Tarow Barney. The de-commitments of 2016 tackles Christian Colon, Karamo Dioubate, and Michael Dwumfour left just Ellison Jordan as the only class of 2016 defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions.
The commitment of Shelton removes some of the uncertainty at the position moving forward. With 18 total commitments now in the class of 2016, Penn State may still have room for another player or two on the defensive line. Junior college defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis could be an option for adding depth to a particularly young unit.
The only two returning defensive tackles to have received playing time for Penn State are redshirt junior Parker Cothren and redshirt sophomore Antonio White. However, there are three possible redshirt freshman options for the rotation next year in Robert Windsor, Ryan Buchholz, and Kamonte Carter. If Penn State is able to build its rotation out of that group, it will lessen the need for immediate impact from true freshmen Shelton and Jordan.
That said, at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds while still in high school, Shelton already has good size, and was clearly a player Penn State coveted once the defensive tackle position was again a need for this class. Whether he plays as a true freshman or not, it will be good to get a player with Shelton's frame into the program to learn from Spencer, Brent Pry, and the training staff.
Welcome to Penn State, Antonio!