May 5, 2012

Newcomer Update No. 1: Justin Shanks


This is part of a series of updates on FSU's 2012 recruiting class. Look
for stories on each member in the coming weeks.

Name: Justin Shanks

Major: Marketing
Arrival at
June 23

Roommate: Chris Casher
Defensive tackle

Jersey Number: Prefers 92

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 306
Not likley

Nickname: J-Bear (Youth league coach called him that because he was bigger than everyone else)

When Florida State defensive tackle signee Justin Shanks met defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins the two instantly bonded about their country backgrounds.

Shanks a 6-foot-3, 303-pound country boy from Prattville, Ala. and Haggins a native of Bartow, Fla. before coming to Tallahassee to play for Bobby Bowden, both like to spend time outdoors when not on the football field.

"Me and him kind of got some similarities, we're country and everything," Shanks said of Haggins. "We like to do things outdoors like fishing. I was born and raised in the country."

In addition to fishing, Shanks said the most country thing he does is help his neighbors round up loose animals. Usually it's just to lend a helping hand, but Shanks did admit he and one of his high school teammates at Prattville High actually wrestle sheep for fun on occasion.

"I had to chase down sheep and wrestle goats. Just to go help somebody out or if my Grandma had some in her backyard," Shanks said. "Or just walk over the street and help out a neighbor or something. Me and one of my teammates we wrestle goats that he has, to try and put them up."

The hard work that Shanks has put in rounding up loose farm animals will help him this fall as he will have his work cutout for him as he tries to break into a very deep defensive tackle rotation.

With the top four defensive tackles on the two-deep returning, Shanks knows breaking into the lineup will be no easy tasks for he and fellow incoming freshman Eddie Goldman and Dalvon Stuckey.

"Talking with Jimbo he was saying they've got speed on defense and everything, but they wanted bigger guys with me, Eddie (Goldman), and (Dalvon) Stuckey coming in," said Shanks who was rated the 10th best tackle in the 2012 class. "That gives you a lot of momentum coming in size-wise.

"Everybody says 'Why did you go to Florida State? They're already loaded at defensive line.' But some people when they get there they don't get the job done, but hey I'm just looking for an opportunity. I'm looking for a challenge. I don't want nothing given to me and then I freeze up. So I always want to work or do something to get that starting job."

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