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October 7, 2011
Shittu out to prove talent at Army Bowl
Aziz Shittu has already proven himself as one of the nation's best defensive tackles, but after slipping to the final five-star player in the Rivals.com rankings the Atwater (Calif.) Buhach wants another opportunity to show off his abilities.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound prospect will get just that opportunity because he's playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Shittu, rated as the third-best defensive tackle and No. 21 prospect in the 2012 class by Rivals.com, was presented his Army jersey during a presentation at his high school Friday. It was a big moment for Shittu, who said he's been following this game ever since he started watching football.
"To play in the Army All-American Bowl is a dream come true to me," Shittu said. "I've been looking at this game for a while now since I started watching football. I always thought it would be so cool to play in the game. To be able to play in it is just a dream come true.
"Just to be recognized for a game like this so I can display my talents in front of everybody, it's just a great game. This game is big for getting you ready for college-level offensive linemen. It's going to be a great experience to go against all these great guys and play with them. It will give me a feel for what I'm looking for in college."
Shittu committed to Stanford in late April but by early June the five-star prospect decided to reopen his recruitment because he felt he made a snap decision with the Cardinal.
So far this fall, Shittu has taken an official visit to Texas A&M and unofficial trips to Stanford and Cal.
He's trying to get to UCLA this weekend on an unofficial for its game against Washington State. An official trip to Washington might happen sometime in November but Shittu isn't sure. All other visits are expected to happen after the season as Shittu has significantly slowed down his recruitment.
"Our team is doing pretty well right now and we're trying to get a state bowl bid," said Shittu, who's helped Buhach to a 5-0 record.
"I took one visit during our bye week because we didn't have a game but I'll probably wait just so there aren't any distractions and we can keep the focus on winning a state championship."
The trip to Texas A&M went well as Shittu said he's been infatuated with football in the state of Texas for a while and that he thoroughly enjoyed himself in College Station.
It's much too early to make another decision - Shittu said he absolutely wants to make his second commitment stick - but the Aggies will stay involved in his recruitment until the end.
"It was a great experience to be out there especially for a big game, to see the atmosphere and the fans," Shittu said. "The coaches all treated me well. They all knew who I was and it was just a great time out there."
In a few months, Shittu will return to the state of Texas for the Army game. He's definitely looking forward to that trip - not only to compete against the best but to prove he's five-star worthy.