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April 4, 2011Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) offensive tackle Graham Shuler has been on a countrywide tour the past few months taking in numerous colleges for junior days and unofficial visits.
The 6-foot-5, 262-pounder has already visited Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and currently out in California visiting Stanford.
"It's going well and it's continuing to pick up," Shuler said. "I'm enjoying it but at the same time it's starting to wear on me but at the same time I'm very grateful for the opportunity I have and very excited about it. I'm just trying to take it all in stride and see where it really takes me."
Shuler has already landed scholarship offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Louisville, Mississippi State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
The talented tackle has family ties to a pair of Southeastern Conference programs. Shuler's father, Rob, played tackle at Auburn from 1982-85 while his mother and several other family members attended Mississippi State.
While the Tigers have yet to offer Shuler, MSU has extended a scholarship.
"I'm in pretty frequent contact with them," Shuler said. "A lot of my family went to Mississippi State. My mom, uncle and a ton of family and friends that have gone there or go there presently. I'm pretty familiar with them. I like the coaching staff a lot. I'm truly impressed with what Coach (Dan) Mullen did this year. I talk to Coach (Angelo) Mirando a lot and Coach (John) Hevesy some. I really enjoy talking to them and it seems like they have a great staff. It sounds like they know what they want and what they want to do. They had a great season this year and I'm excited about them and excited about the opportunity that they've extended me."
Having a father that has gone through the process is just one of the network support systems that Shuler has used throughout this process.
"It's really cool and I'm lucky to have him with him going through this before," Shuler said. "He even understands that things are a lot different than they were when he was being recruited with the Scout and the Rivals and the craziness when everything starts. Recruiting is a completely different animal now than it was 20 years ago. He does have a lot of experience and insight but at the same time he understands enough that it's a completely different animal now.
"Coach Jamie Redmond at my school is kind of our recruiting coordinator. He's been incredible with me and helping me. I've got great coaches that are there to help show me how everything goes. The great thing about going to Brentwood Academy is that we've got a lot of kids that have gone on to big time programs. Alex Bullard is one of my best friends and I keep in touch with him, he went to Notre Dame and transferred to Tennessee recently and Thad McHaney went to Vanderbilt. They were both pretty big time players and I've talked to them about the process since they've gone through it because they really understand it."
While a decision is still a few months away from happening, Shuler does hope to have one made by the end of the summer in order to concentrate on his senior season.
"I'm not going to be one of those guys who dances around and trying on however many hats committing somewhere for a couple of weeks and then changing a few weeks later," Shuler said. "I really want to settle in to where I want to be. I would ideally like to make a decision by this summer if that's possible. I'm not going to rush into anything or jump into anything but if I'm prepared and know that's where I'm supposed to be then hopefully it will play out for me make a decision in June or July so I can focus on the team that I'm apart of now and be everything I can be to them."
Last season Shuler helped pave the way for the Eagles to a 10-3 record and into the Division II Class AA State Semifinals.
Shuler has been clocked with 5.0 speed and maintains a 3.5 GPA in the classroom.