BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU just added a massive addition to its 2017 football team, both literally and figuratively. Tyler Shelvin, the Tigers’ highest-ranked prospect in the 2017 signing class, gained clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Friday evening, the defensive tackle told SEC Country.
Shelvin’s grandmother, Deborah Silas, told SEC Country’s Alex Hickey that the SEC commissioner’s office will still need to sign off.
“School starts Monday,” Silas said. “They said this (signature) is really just a formality. I’m hoping everything will be OK.”
His grandmother also indicated that Shelvin will be redshirted for the upcoming football season, per LSU coach Ed Orgeron.
“He is redshirting,” she said. “I told him, ‘You’re gonna build yourself up. You’re not the first to redshirt. The only thing you can’t do is play. You’re going to be able to practice with team, going to be able to get in shape, lose some weight, get acclimated, get your grades on point and be ready for 2018 season in better shape than you’ve ever been.'”
Shelvin was a 4-star defensive tackle, was the No. 54 prospect in the country and the No. 1 player from the state of Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Shelvin was the longest-tenured commitment in LSU’s 2017 class, but will be the last to arrive on campus. The Lafayette, La., native took extra academic courses over the summer and was unable to report to campus with the rest of the football team on July 31.
Shelvin was stuck waiting for approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Silas said the process dragged on because the NCAA needed extra documentation regarding Shelvin’s transfer from Lafayette Northside High School to Crowley (La.) Notre Dame for his senior year. A shooting at Northside was a big factor in Shelvin’s transfer, but Silas said she had to send newspaper articles to prove to the NCAA that it happened.
Silas said the ordeal was very tough on her grandson, who initially hoped to join the Tigers in the first week of training camp.
“He was the last one to get cleared in the clearinghouse from what I heard. I think it made him feel really down,” Silas said. “We told him, ‘It’s all in God’s hands. We’ll get the ruling,’ And it came down today.
“He was down and out. He didn’t know his future. We got calls and calls and calls from junior colleges.”
Fortunately for Shelvin and LSU, he won’t have to pursue the juco route.
“I think he was drained,” Silas said. “He wants to be able to get on that field and practice.”
With clearance, Shelvin should be eligible to join the team immediately.
SEC Country’s Alex Hickey contributed to this report.