Recruiting Roundup: Shane McCullen, S

Shane McCullen
S, 6-2, 208 LBS, Scouts, Inc Grade = 73
FR, Apache Junction, Arizona (Apache Junction HS)

FYI, I am not going down...


Overview:
One of the top all-around athletes in the state of Arizona. Rated among the most accomplished running backs in the state, but will begin his Sun Devil career at safety. Perhaps the greatest football player in Apache Junction High School history, a standout track and field athlete as well.

Scouting Report:
Ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the 2008 Scout.com Phoenix Combine, the fastest of all participants and the fifth-fastest time of all 14 combines. Also posted a 35-inch vertical and a 4.44 second shuttle time. Scouts - McCullen is an impressive looking athlete with great size to speed measurables. Very productive high school back but displays the physical tools to play safety or even outside linebacker in college. He is tall, lean but very well-built and defined. Should tip the scales at close to 225-pounds in college while retaining his current speed and quickness. Quick to the hole and excels at taking one-plant step and exploding downhill. Builds good speed and can slice through a defense and into the second level deceptively quick. Shows good lateral quickness bouncing it outside and turning the corner without losing much in transition. Not a real sudden in-line runner but can make defenders miss through the hole and can be shifty. Not overly fast or a homerun threat but rarely gets caught from behind when he reaches top speed with his long stride. However, he does tend to run very high with marginal body-tilt. For a bigger runner, we saw very little yards after contact production. Physical skills appeared to be above his level of competition and at times he simply ran past or around pursuing defenders. Lacks the lateral fluidity or change of direction quickness that projects well as a pick and slide zone runner. Could continue physically developing, improve his lean and fit well as a tailback in an "I" or power-running system at the college level; fullback is a possibility as a well. Overall, McCullen is a great athlete with the physical tools to mold into a contributor at the next level. Will probably be more recruited as a good football player/athlete than a positional prospect. - I think his scouts grade would have been much higher if he had been profiled as a pure safety product, instead of a sort of positional tweener.

Accolades
Rated as the No. 84 all-purpose athlete in the nation by Rivals.com, also ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 3 all-purpose athlete in the state of Arizona and the state's No. 14 overall prospect. Listed as the No. 59 running back prospect in the nation by Scout.com. Was regarded as the Pinal County Player of the Year and a member of the Friday Night Heroes list by Phoenix Metro Football Magazine.

High School Career
Played RB and LB/S hybrid on defense. Coached by Rick Milligan at Apache Junction High School.
Senior Year, 2008
Collected 42 tackles (22 solo), 2 INT, 1 sack. Carried 127 times for 866 yards (6.8 avg.) and 9 TDs. Led Apache Junction with 11 catches for 174 yards (15.8 avg) and 2 TDs. Averaged 42.3 yards on seven kickoff returns and averaged 36.0 yards on eight punts. Recorded at least 5 tackles on five occasions. Totaled a season high 9 tackles with 1 INT against Queen Creek on Sept. 19, 2008. Surpassed 100 rushing yards four times on the year. Recorded a season-high 2 rushing TD in four games. Had a 98-yard and a 99-yard kickoff return during the season. Collected a season-high 181 rushing yards on only 9 carries (20.1 avg.) with 2 TDs against Kellis on Sept. 12, 2008. Carried a season-high 24 times for 131 yards (5.5 avg.) with 2 TDs and added 3 receptions for 53 yards and 1 TD catch against McClintock on Nov. 7, 2008.
Junior Year, 2007
Tallied 23 tackles (12 solo) with 2 INT as a junior in 2007. Led Apache Junction with 243 carries for 1,525 yards rushing (6.3 avg.) and 12 TD. Also caught 6 passes for 89 yards and 1 TD and averaged 23.8 yards on kickoff returns. Collected at least 3 tackles in four games on the year. Tallied a season-high four stops against Sinagua on Aug. 24, 2007. Rushed for over 100 yards seven times and surpassed 200 yards twice. Recorded a season-high 217 rushing yards on 20 carries (10.9 avg.) with 2 TDs against Cactus Shadows on Oct. 26, 2007. Posted a season-high 33 carries for 213 yards (6.5 avg.) with a rushing score against Agua Fria on Aug. 31, 2007. gained 100 rushing yards and scored a receiving and rushing TD against Independence on Sept. 28, 2007.

The Decision
Chose ASU over California, Nevada, Stanford, Utah and Washington State, among others. "Coach Erickson's goal is to win a National Championship at ASU and I like that attitude," says McCullen. "I really like the coaching staff and Coach Erickson is a really cool guy. I also enjoy learning from (safeties coach) Lubick." Verbally committed to the Sun Devils on June 17, 2008.

The Verdict:
With the departure of Troy Nolan and Rodney Cox, ASU is in need of Safety depth. I am sure McCullen will be given a shot to start, and will definitely see the field since we need some playmakers back there now that one of our best defensive players in Nolan has graduated.

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