March 1, 2012

RJ Shelton: 'Once in a lifetime kid'

Brad Salem delivered two of the top prospects in the state of Wisconsin as the primary recruiter for defensive tackle Mark Scarpinatoand speedy defensive back Trae Waynes as a first-year Michigan State assistant two years ago.

Michigan State has maintained an active presence in Wisconsin since that time, targeting a handful of recruits from the state each of the past two years.

The Spartans recently had several top juniors from Wisconsin on campus including record-setting Beaver Dam tailback R.J. Shelton. Before returning home, Shelton became the fourth commitment in Michigan State's 2013 recruiting class and the third recruit from Wisconsin to join the Spartan program during Dantonio's tenure.

Salem's presence as primary recruiter and future position coach played a key role in Shelton's selection of Michigan State over offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

"RJ is really a true blue type of kid and Michigan State showed first interest in him and he really formed strong relationships with the coaches up there," said Beaver Dam head coach Tim White. "He feels really strongly about coach (Brad) Salem and coach (Mark) Dantonio. I think those were a couple of key reasons why he committed to be a Spartan when he did."

Michigan State began recruiting Shelton last fall before the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder rushed for 2,048 yards and 34 touchdowns to shatter the career rushing record at Beaver Dam by more than 1,000 yards as a junior.

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