By Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | October 20, 2016 3:41 pm ET
Notre Dame Academy (Crowley, La.) defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin devours opposing running backs. At 6-3 and 350 pounds, he’s too big and too strong for most offensive linemen to deal with. Backs who attempt to run up the middle run the risk of disappearing into the Shelvin zone, a dimension that ends only when the whistle blows.
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As good as Shelvin is, he acknowledges he needs to get in better shape before he heads to LSU next season. He was 370 pounds to start the season and says he would likely play better at around 325, but his big problem is his appetite extends beyond running backs.
“I don’t have any problems with technique,” Shelvin said. “The only problem I have is getting into shape. It’s the cooking around here. I have to stay away from rice and fried foods. Sometimes, I’ll go to McDonald’s or Wendy’s and get a salad. I’ve had to sacrifice a few foods that I like.”
Shelvin received his jersey on Thursday for the Under Armour All-America Game as as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance. The game is Jan. 1 in Orlando.
“My first experience going there (to Orlando) for the Future 50 was a good one,” Shelvin said. “That’s what influenced me.”
Shelvin played last season at Northside (Lafayette), but transferred over the winter to Notre Dame for his senior year. The Pioneers are 7-0 and are allowing a little over a touchdown a game.
“I think the season is working out fine,” Shelvin said. “We are on a good path. It’s a different scene than my old school, but by the summer I felt like my teammates had accepted me.”
His reason for leaving Northside was partly academic but also because then-Northside coach Trev Faulk took a new job at Lafayette Christian (Lafayette). Shelvin may have felt a case of deja vu when LSU Coach Les Miles was fired. He had committed to the Tigers in March of 2015 and was their second commitment in the 2017 class.
“At the time it bothered me, but it didn’t change where I wanted to go,” Shelvin said. “I felt better when Coach (Ed) Orgeron stepped up and took the head coaching job.”
Orgeron had been the defensive line coach at LSU and already had a solid connection with Shelvin. He was named LSU’s interim head coach on Sept. 25.
Faulk said that Shelvin would fit in well as a nose tackle in the Tigers’ 3-4 defensive front.
“He’s fit enough to play nose in a 3 or 4 scheme,” Faulk said over the summer. “He’s a very gifted young man.”
It also doesn’t hurt LSU that Baton Rouge is only 80 miles east on I-10 from Crowley. Close enough for Shelvin to go back for a little home cooking.