Kansas head coach Charlie Weis issued a press release Friday afternoon announcing that Jon Shelby, a linebacker out of Nassau Community College, had signed with the Jayhawks.
If the name of Nassau Community College sounds familiar to some fans, it's with good reason. The New York JUCO program also produced 2012 signee Aslam Sterling, a mammoth offensive tackle. Shelby and Sterling helped lead the Lions to a 19-2 mark during their tenure with the program, including a perfect 11-0 season in 2012 and a No. 3 ranking in the NJCAA.
At first glance, Shelby's stats might not seem eye-popping. He played in all 21 games during the past two seasons and recorded 82 total tackles, including 59 solos, 12 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
But dig a little deeper, and one will find a reason he was selected to the All-Northeast Conference first team in 2011. He racked up the bulk of his statistics as a sophomore, tallying 61 total tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss.
His film provides further evidence. Not only does he possess excellent short-area explosion, but Shelby has good long speed as well, showing himself capable of running down quarterbacks and running backs from across the field. Additionally, he plays with good discipline at the line of scrimmage - be it in the interior or isolated on the perimeter - and is a sure-handed tackler.
Weis has talked frequently about needing players capable of playing in space, and made no bones about the fact that the defensive two-deep is going to look significantly different come the start of fall training camp in August. In Shelby, he looks to have found an experienced prospect with the athleticism necessary to make an impact in the Big 12.