By: Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | September 14, 2017
Justin Shorter made the most out of every minute last weekend.
Friday night, he helped South Brunswick (Monmouth Junction, N.J.) win its opener, with three catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns and a 77-yard touchdown run in a 35-6 defeat of Old Bridge (Matawan).
“It felt pretty good just to go out there and know I’ve been working hard and to be able to go out and play like that,” Shorter said. “I was just waiting for that game and it finally came and I went out there and played to the best of my ability.”
On Saturday, the Penn State commit made the four-hour trip to State College, Pa., to see the Nittany Lions defeat Pitt 33-14.
“The Penn State was a crazy game — 110,000 people were there,” he said.
He said there really wasn’t a No. 2 school to his selection of Penn State.
“The school is what sold me,” he said. “Once I got up there on campus, I knew it was for me. After that, school-wise, I knew it was a great school to be in with a great fan base. I try to go up there every single week. I’m not going up there this week, but I hope to make my official for the week of the Michigan game.”
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On Thursday, Shorter was presented with his Under Armour jersey as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the Under Armour All-America Game. He said he can remember seeing the Under Armour game as far back as when current Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper played in the game in 2012.
“Mainly, I can remember since I’ve been little, watching all the games and the players on TV wearing the jersey and their logo on the helmets,” Shorter said. “I wanted to be a part of that, so I chose to commit to the game.”
Shorter is 6-4 and 220 pounds and is listed as the No. 3 wide receiver according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. Last season, he had 45 catches for 718 yards and six touchdowns. Growing up, he was more of a baseball player and didn’t play organized football until he was in the eighth grade. He said once he began getting attention as a receiver, he never gave a thought to transferring to a bigger-name program.
“I just took to football right away,” he said. “Once my mom let me play, I ended up being pretty good at it. I stayed (at South Brunswick) because I was already training hard with coach (former NFL wide receiver) Kevin Johnson. My goal is to get better and lead my team to the state championship.”
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