RALEIGH, N.C. — BYU went clear across the country to land its latest football recruit.
Michael Shelton is a 5-foot-8, 170 pound cornerback prospect from Raleigh, N.C., who committed to BYU coaches upon receiving his official offer. Shelton was recruited by Utah, Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech and Oregon State, among others.
"BYU has the high standards that I live by, so it's perfect for me," Shelton, who is LDS, said. "I fell in love with the school when I went out there to visit and I really couldn't see myself playing anywhere else."
Shelton first visited BYU in early June as a participant in its junior day. He performed well at the one-day invitation-only camp and received accolades and increasing attention from coaches as a result.
"They told me that I was the best performer at my position at the camp," Shelton said. "I was real happy with how I performed and felt comfortable out there."
He also grew to like BYU's surroundings.
Prior to his BYU visit Shelton had his eyes set upon local or nearby programs such as Auburn, Duke and North Carolina, but his focus completely changed.
"I just grew to love the place, the surroundings, the environment — just everything," Shelton said. "It's such a beautiful place with the mountains, and the standards BYU has is probably the most attractive thing for me."
Shelton also built a strong relationship with coaches, particularly defensive coordinator Nick Howell.
Howell made the trek to North Carolina to see Shelton work out after viewing his film and immediately liked what he saw. He invited Shelton to attend BYU's junior day, which he accepted.
"Coach Howell is a young guy, which I like, and he's real enthusiastic and positive," Shelton said. "He's exactly the type of coach you want to play for. He knows the game so well and I know I'll become the best player I can be learning from him."
Shelton will likely compete for the field cornerback position when he arrives at BYU prior to the 2014 season. He claims a 4.43 forty and a 10.7 100 meter time, a 38-inch vertical and a 3.91 shuttle time, among other times congruent to playing an effective cornerback at the division one level.
Shelton has plans to graduate early and arrive at BYU in time for next year's spring practice. He plans on playing four to five straight years and compete for a spot as soon as possible.
"I almost decided to go out and attend high school in Utah and play for Timpview for my senior year, but that didn't quite work out," he said. "Hopefully I can graduate early and get out there. I just want to get out there as soon as I can. I love everything about BYU and what the program stands for. I'm excited to stand for the same things."