One of the best in the JC ranks this fall is Saddleback C Damian Shankle
Shankle isn’t just talented – he’s also tough as nails.
“Last year (2005) I tore my hamstring during summer workouts,” Shankle told
JCFootball.com recently. “I taped it up all year and played with it. The only
time it really hurt bad was when we would have to get out on screens and really
run down the field. Other than that, it wasn’t too bad.”
A torn hamstring would debilitate almost every other player on the field, but
Shankle played through the pain, partly because of his dedication to his team
and partly because of his love for the game.
“I love getting out there and hitting people,” Shankle said. “I love the
thought of making the right call on a blitz protect or burying a guy into the
ground on a running play. Either way, I wanted to be out there so I just had to
tough it out.”
Shankle prepped at Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, California and
was recruited by a couple Pac 10 schools, but his grades weren’t up to par.
“I heard a lot from Oregon, Washington and UTEP during my senior year, but
they saw my transcripts and knew I wouldn’t qualify, so they passed on me,”
Shankle admitted. “Saddleback isn’t too far away, so I decided to go the JC-route
and see what happened.”
Early in the year he was hearing from Louisiana Tech, Arizona and Boise State, but he has sent out new tape new tape hoping to open more eyes to his
“I benched 225 (pounds) 28 times and I run a 5.3 forty this past summer,”
Shankle said. “I’m good at making the calls along the line and I’ve worked
really hard on my quickness. I’m a good pass blocker, but I wanted to get
better at run blocking this summer and I think I’ve done that.
“We run out of the shotgun all the time and that doesn’t make it easy to run
block, but I think I’ve gotten better at it.” Good enough as Saddleback is
undefeated and vying for a national #1 ranking in JC Grid-Wire.
Shankle will graduate this December with three years to play two seasons at
the next level and he said he plans to major in Geography.