The University of Alabama will welcome several of the nation's top committed and uncommitted…
Getting to know: Brandon Shell
Height and Weight: 6-foot-6, 322-pounds
City, State: Goose Creek, S.C.
Ranking: No. 5 OT
Scholarship Offers: Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Miami and Tennessee among many others.
Scout's Take: Shell can be as good as he wants to be and go as far as he wants to go. He has great size and he is very athletic for an offensive tackle. If he wanted to play basketball on the next level, he would have some small Division I offers in that sport too. He has very good feet, he moves very well, he bends well, and he has the length you look for on the edge. His desire to be dominant is the biggest question out there. If he decides to push himself and be as good as he can be, then he will be playing on Sundays down the road. He is such an easy going young man and that attitude carries over to the football field. He needs that killer instinct, he needs to play every down with a chip on his shoulder, and he would even surprise himself at how good he could be. Shell is one of the best now and he has all the tools to be an elite left tackle, but how far he will go and how good he will be in Columbia will be strictly up to him. He has the ability to be an All SEC player, an All-American, and a high round NFL draft pick down the road. -- Chad Simmons
This interview was conducted before Shell enrolled at South Carolina for Summer I.
On enrolling at South Carolina... "I'm very excited to go there, very excited to work out, very excited to progress my game and stuff like that."
On playing as a freshman... "I'm not saying I'm going to play but I'm going to work hard to play. I'm going to try to prove people wrong saying that freshman can't play offensive line in the SEC. I'm going to work hard to try to prove them wrong."
On playing in the Shrine Bowl and Army All-America games... "It helped me a lot. It showed me things that I don't see on a regular Friday down here [at Goose Creek]. There was a lot of good athletes like me that bring it so I got to work on my game and step up and see what I need to work on from the things that they do."
On playing with some of the state's best... "It played a lot [into my decision]. It seems like a lot of players are staying in-state. Like when we stay in-state, we win championships. A.J. Green and Carlos Dunlap, they went to other colleges, but if they would have stayed in South Carolina, stayed in the state, we probably would have had some championships too. It's going to be a good experience playing with these guys and trying to win a championship."
On Alabama's late push for his services... "They came pretty hard. You sit there and you don't want to kind of blow them off and tell them something else, you have to give them your attention because they came. I didn't want to just blow them off. It was kind of hard not to fall in for the stuff that they were saying.
How'd you tell them no? "When they called me the morning of signing day and asked me what my decision was -- well, when they called my mom, they asked her and she told them."
On going up against Jadeveon Clowney in practice... "I'm looking forward to it. I'm just looking forward to the challenge."
On when he knew Clowney was a Gamecock... "He was staying stuff about it at the Shrine Bowl but I didn't know if it was true or if he was just joking around. But he was saying, 'South Carolina this, South Carolina that.' I think that's when I really found out but I didn't know if it was true or not."
When did you first truly know you were going to South Carolina? "When they first offered me."
Really? "Yeah. Because I always looked up to South Carolina, I used to watch the games on TV. It was just South Carolina all the time ever since I was young. Then on top of that, they were the first to offer me, so then it was like, yeah, I'm going to South Carolina."
On his mother's advice... "She's excited but she doesn't want me getting into trouble, so I'm going to try to stay out of trouble. She just says mind who your friends are, mind who you hang out with, and mind your surroundings -- and stay in school, do your work and work hard."
On running out to 2011 for the first time... "I know my heart's going to be racing. My adrenaline's going to be pumping. It's going to be very exciting."
On the game he's most looking forward to... "It's like a little game, I can't wait until we play -- well, Clemson first, but that's like the biggest game -- I can't wait until we play The Citadel because I've got family up at The Citadel, so I want to play them."
On the 2011 class's legacy... "That we helped make a change to South Carolina. That we helped make change to bring them up to a championship team in South Carolina."
Just for fun...
If you're not playing football, you're... "I'm just relaxing, getting my body ready to play. Playing video games, on the computer, just doing anything to keep my mind right."
Favorite video game... "I play NBA 2K11 and I like NCAA Football. I play those two the most."
Favorite pro team... Los Angeles Lakers
Favorite athlete... Kobe Bryant
Hottest actress... Megan Good
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