AUBURN, Wash. - The road to the NFL started at Auburn High School for Danny Shelton, who is representing the New England Patriots on the NFL's biggest stage Sunday, Feb. 3.
"I've got two players now that I've coached play in the NFL, and Danny's the most accomplished,” said Gordon Elliott, who was the head varsity football coach at Auburn for 17 years.
Elliott has watched Shelton grow into the man he is today.
"Here's an example of a kid that made it through all those barriers that keep other people behind, and he's a success,” said Elliott. “(It’s) a real credit to his mom but also to Danny to be where he is right now."
After finding success on the football field at Auburn, Shelton could have gone just about anywhere in the country to play college football.
But he chose the Washington Huskies.
His size and athleticism is why the Browns selected Shelton in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.
Shelton played three seasons with Cleveland before being traded to the Pats. Now, the pride of Auburn has a chance to bring home a Super Bowl ring.
"Which we're reluctantly hoping for, because you know how us Seahawks fans feel about the Patriots,” Crystal Wisness, who taught Shelton at Auburn, said with a big smile.
The Auburn High School family wants everybody to know Shelton was also a very good student.
"A pretty good student at University of Washington, certainly, but he was a good student here, as well,” Jon Morrow, Auburn's College and Career Counselor, said. “(Danny was involved in) things like advanced placement classes (and had) a pretty solid GPA and so forth. The UW got a pretty good student."
"(Danny also) earned academic honors at UW and just did a great job here," said Wisness.
As for the big game on Sunday in Atlanta, Elliott has a little advice for Shelton.
"Not very many people get to do this, so you're blessed to be able to be with the Patriots and be in a Super Bowl. Enjoy it."
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