Feb. 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Eddie Goldman stole headlines on National Signing Day by committing to Florida State live on ESPNU but his future teammate in the trenches may be just as deserving of the same national attention.
Justin Shanks was the other big -- literally and figuratively -- part of FSU's recruiting success at the defensive tackle position during the 2012 recruiting cycle. And while he may not carry the same hype that surrounds a consensus five-star prospect like Goldman, Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher is quick to caution anyone from forgetting about Shanks' potential.
"He doesn't get the credit he has for as good of a player as he is in my opinion," Fisher said. "He's a big, physical guy that will be a very good player in there."
Shanks verbally committed to Florida State on July 27, 2011 despite offers from the whose-who of the college football world.
The Prattville, Ala. native was courted by in-state powers Alabama and Auburn as well as Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, Miami, and so on. Like FSU's coaches, other evaluators saw a prospect that already boasted Division I-ready size, ability and strength.
Perhaps the only thing college coaches didn't know about Shanks was his official weight. During his official visit to FSU's campus the weekend of Jan. 20, 2012, Shanks weighed in and 'Noles got to see firsthand what brand of defensive tackle they'll be adding to the depth chart.
"You got him at 310 on there, he's 334," Fisher said, referencing Shanks' official measurements being listed at 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds. "He's flat as a pancake when you're talking about his stomach. It's in his back and his legs, which is where you want it. He's a broad, athletic, can bend, can run .. 6-2 1/2, 6-3.
"You have two of those guys (Eddie Goldman included), you just don't move them."
With the Seminoles, Shanks will join a pass-rushing, run-stuffing corps of defenders that is upperclassmen heavy and riddled with young playmakers.
He'll also have the opportunity to learn from a defensive tackles coach who knows a thing or two about what it's like to be a physical specimen reeking havoc on an offensive line.
"He's a big body that can rush the passer," said FSU quarterbacks coach and Shanks' primary recruiter Dameyune Craig. "He's a run-stopper and he had to choose Florida State over Auburn and Alabama, which is a big deal in that state considering they won the last three national championships. His team won the state championship in Alabama 6A. He's very strong.
"He reminds me a lot of his coach Odell Haggins."
Number Watch: Shanks will have to pick a new number to wear when he gets to Tallahassee as Anthony McCloud sports the No. 92 that FSU's soon-to-be freshman wore in high school.
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