July 12, 2010

2012 tackle hopes to impress at UA camp

Among the top prospects from the Class of 2012 scheduled to attend the Crimson Tide's three-day camp later this month is Prattville (AL) defensive tackle Justin Shanks, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound lineman who earned his first Division I scholarship earlier this summer from Auburn after an impressive showing at the Tigers' camp.

"I went to a couple of camps in Auburn this summer already," Shanks said. "I got my offer from Auburn at the first camp. I really liked everything I saw there, especially the workout facilities and I really just like the way they do things there. Their coaches are really friendly and easy to talk to. I've been there a lot at this point so I feel pretty comfortable there."

With an Auburn offer in hand, Shanks turns his attention to Alabama where he hopes to make a similarly strong impression when he attends all three days of the Tide's July camp.

"I went to Alabama's camp last summer and a few of their games last season too. It's been a while since I've been now so I'm excited to get back and see everything again."

While the Tide haven't shown much attention to the rising junior this summer, Shanks hopes to change that in the weeks to come.

"I've been an Alabama fan all my life. I know that being a fan shouldn't be the main thing you think about with recruiting but I know if I got an offer from Alabama, I would be really excited. I haven't heard a lot from their coaches since the spring but I'm really hoping I can get a chance to talk with them again at the camp and get back in touch."

Whether the trip to Tuscaloosa yields an offer or not, Shanks said he has taken advantage of his camp work this summer and greatly improved several facets of his game.

"It's been a really good summer. I think I've really improved how physical I am and my technique with my hands. I also get off the ball a lot quicker and at the same time I've added a lot of muscle and size. I'm really aiming at being a defensive tackle at the college level because there are a lot more opportunities for playing time than there are at defensive end."

Shanks also plans a visit to Florida State's camp following his trip to Tuscaloosa. As a starter for Prattville last season, Shanks helped lead the Lions to their fourth consecutive 6A state championship appearance.

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