Pitt has done a solid job over their last two recruiting classes building up the depth and overall talent level of their offensive line.
Terrence Enos, Brandon Honorable, Terrence Rankl and Marco Fugar are current members of Pitt’s Class of 2021, while the Panthers were able to sign talented prospects Michael Statham and Branson Taylor last recruiting class.
Looking towards the next class, the staff has their eye on a player that’s not only one of the top players in Pennsylvania but one of the top rated offensive lineman in the country.
Drew Shelton (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) is a four-star offensive tackle from Downington West High School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. 247 Sports rates Shelton has one of the Top 20 tackles in 2022 and one of the Top 200 overall players in the country.
With those credentials, it’s not surprising that Shelton holds a current offer list from programs such as Pitt, Michigan, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Maryland, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
“At first, the attention I was getting for my recruitment was a bit crazy,” Shelton told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “My process really just started less than four months ago so all of this has been crazy and very fast. It was somewhat overwhelming at first but I’m starting to settle in now. It’s almost like the new normal now.”
“My head coach has been very good to me and has really given me a lot of advice about the recruiting process. He’s put our quarterback through it over the last couple of years. Plus, I’ve been told to try and spread things out so one day isn’t too crazy and I’m not taking in too much information at once. Spread it out over five days and take just a couple calls a day. I’m been very fortunate to get a lot of great advice from a lot of different people.”
As Shelton is taking in these recruiting pitches from schools and hearing all sorts of different information, are there things that he’s listening for in order to start the process of trying to determine the schools he’ll have serious interest in?
“One thing is that I’m not really concerned about the location of the school, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a school that’s close to home for me,” said Shelton. “I’m looking a lot for the academic portion of it and where I can get a high-level degree along with playing high level football at the same time.”
Interestingly, Shelton’s original position wasn’t offensive lineman. In fact, he made the move following a suggestion from Cory Sanders and that’s a big reason for his interest level in the Panthers program.
“Pitt has been telling me that I’m one of their top prospects,” Shelton said. “Coach Sanders actually came out to my school my freshman year and he’s the reason I moved to offensive line. He watched me run routes as a tight end and told my coach that kid should move to offensive line, he’d be a major Power 5 prospect. My coach moved me over and I’ve taken off from there. I really owe that to Coach Sanders and he’s a big reason why I’m getting all of this attention.
“Coach Sanders really has a way with words and that’s a big reason why I believe he can connect with any recruit very easily. He really understands the recruiting process and what we’re going through and just seems like a down to earth, really nice person that’s able to draw the attention of recruits.”
With offers seemingly coming in daily, Shelton and his family are trying to formulate a plan to visit schools once visits are permitted. While he hasn’t put together a concrete list, he does know that Pitt will be one of his trips.
“As of right now, I don’t have a time for when I want to get out but I do know a couple of places that I do want to get out to with Pitt being one of them,” he said. “With everything I’ve heard from them and them being an in-state school, they’re a school I want to see.”