Auburn alumnus returns to inspire current students


Brian Keller

Danny Shelton and his mother pose with his retired AHS jersey.

Cameron Tsosie

One of Auburn High School’s alumni, Danny Shelton is well on his way to a once in a lifetime opportunity: The 2015 NFL Draft. People know Shelton for his football talents, the ability to get to the quarterback or get a tackle for a loss. Not only is he an All-PAC 12 football player, he used his academic skills to earn the 2014 Academic All-PAC-12 First Team, meaning at the position Shelton plays he had one of the top grade point averages in the PAC-12.

The former Trojan, who is finishing his final year at the University of Washington, has a current GPA of  3.54, as he finishes his degree in anthropology.

Counselor, Mr. Borden said Shelton’s key to being successful at AHS was, “Continuing to try and get better, both as a student and an athlete, Shelton’s mom kept him on check and in line.”

“Danny’s mom made sure he was a great student. School came first, being an athlete came second,” said Borden.

Borden also said Shelton took, “Opportunities and advantages to become a better football player.”

Athletic Director Bob Jones said Shelton’s key to success was, “the love for football and that he understands the opportunity that was given to him is huge.”

Shelton was a great student because “his mom drove him to be a great student and get outstanding grades. He never wanted to let his mom down,” said Jones.

Career Counselor, Mr. Morrow said Shelton’s key to being successful was that, “he set strong goals, and then he followed them.”

“His work ethic was strong and it helped him with his school and sports,” Morrow, said.

Danny Shelton has influenced people and for junior Kirkland Strickland he, “influenced me with his dedication and hardworking personality, which makes me want to be a hard worker as well.”

One reason why Shelton is significant is because, “of his work ethic, because he is dedicated in not just the sports he plays, but also in his school work and he has a great relationship with his family,” said Strickland.

Freshman Zack Redelf said Danny Shelton influences him to, “work hard and become a better football player.” Something significant about Shelton, Redelf added is that, “he is very dominant on the defensive line, and he is going to be successful at what he is going to be doing with his life.”

Danny Shelton influences junior Oberammergau Muao by, “helping out the community and being just a wonderful and successful, he inspires me to be a great person,” Muao continued and said, “he gets great grades, and inspires me to play college and professional football.”

During Shelton’s senior year at the UW he came to one of AHS’ assemblies, and spoke while the school retired his football jersey, number 71.

While finishing up his career at the UW Shelton played a total of 54 games in his four years, racking up 111 solo tackles and 97 assist tackles. He also had 24 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, and nine of those sacks came from his senior year.

The defensive tackle, according to, has an overall production rating of ten, a position rating of two, and is projected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft.