Four-star extra midfielder outside of Friendswood (Texas) Braylan Shelby announced his commitment to USC on a Saturday afternoon when the Trojans were narrowly defeated Texas for one of the country’s most sporting edge prospects.
For Shelby, it’s been a tough decision as he’s sat down with his family over the past few weeks and thought for himself to come to this decision.
“It was very, very difficult,” Shelby said. “Definitely some long nights just standing in my room wondering where to go. There’s nothing like Texas, it’s amazing. I wish I could go to both, honestly.”
However, USC gave Shelby the best opportunity to develop both on and off the field.
“I definitely feel like I can be great there and achieve my dreams,” he said. “That’s the main reason I’m going to SC.”
Shelby’s believes in Lincoln Riley steadfast in seeing him turn USC around sooner rather than later.
“I’ve seen what he’s done in Oklahoma and I know he can turn a show around,” he said. “I feel like at SC he can do it again. I know doing that requires a great defence. Going there will definitely help and benefit the team. whole team.”
Shelby’s position coach, Roy Manningis someone the four-year-old star trusts a lot because of the relationship they’ve built and his growing track record.
“Ever since we first met when he first came to my school, I’ve been ecstatic ever since,” he said. “You can tell he really wants to coach me, he’s very persistent about it. He really believes he can get me where I want to go and I believe him.”
During his official visit, Shelby was able to see how a player lives every day, and everything about it makes him want to commit to the Trojan.
“It was perfect,” Shelby said. “I love the dorm rooms, I love the amenities. I love everything, it’s perfect.”
There’s also the chance to see the pitch early for Shelby as USC continues to overhaul its roster.
“They definitely see me playing early out there,” he said. “I knew it was going to take some work but they told me I could do it.”
At 6-foot-5, 235-pounds tall, Shelby is the 83rd-ranked player in the country in 2023, according to Rivals. He is the 5th ranked player outside of the country and the 15th player from the state of Texas.
Shelby is an explosive defender who uses her proven fitness (the 44-foot-9.25-inch triple jump) to explode and execute violent plays at the point of attack. His range allows him to cover a lot of space around the edge towards the touchline, and his speed will allow him to keep up with elusive backyard threats.
His physical record is one of the more impressive in the nation as he looks like a developed college player entering his senior year of high school.
Playing as an outside full-back for Friendswood last season, Shelby totaled 77 tackles, including 12 conceded and eight cut. He also scored five passes, four forced clumsiness and a six-take. His skill set will allow him to impact the game in many ways in a marginal role at USC.