July 24, 2007
TE commit Shields is healthy, eager
When the scholarship offer came from USF in late spring, Andreas Shields wasted no time snatching it up. To the Wharton High School tight end, the Bulls' interest was a gift.
"I feel really blessed to have the opportunity," Shields said Monday. "Because I haven't played a lot."
USF is clearly banking on Shields becoming a growth stock. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound athlete moved to Tampa just two years ago - he's part of a military family - and Shields has had little to show for his high school football career so far.
He didn't play as a sophomore and was set to display his talents as a junior before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Wharton's 2006 opener against local New Tampa rival Freedom High. But there have been plenty of signs of his potential.
In spring 2006, he helped Wharton to a 14-0 win over King High with a 45-yard touchdown reception. This past spring, now completely recovered from the knee injury, Shields made a leaping 13-yard TD grab to beat Freedom, 7-2. And he's also displayed his athletic talent on the basketball court for the Wildcats. Last season, Shields was a starting forward for coach Tommy Tonelli - the former USF player and coach - and helped lead Wharton to 29-2 record and an appearance in the state regional final.
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