Shackelford First Junior To Win Chucky Mullins Courage Award

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM D.T. Shackelford (Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
D.T. Shackelford (Photo by UM Photographer Kevin Bain)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

April 14, 2011

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OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss linebacker D.T. Shackelford was named the 22nd recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award Thursday and became the first junior to receive the distinction. He will also be the first player since the 2005 season to wear Mullins’ No. 38.

The award, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, honors the late Chucky Mullins, who had his Ole Miss career come to an end during the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt when he was paralyzed after making a tackle. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away on May 6, 1991.

The selection of Shackelford was announced during Thursday night's Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet, which is sponsored each year by Phi Beta Sigma and Phi Kappa Psi fraternities. The banquet was an emotional event as Mullins’ former head coach Billy Brewer reflected on Chucky and the power of the award.

The award takes on special significance this year as the No. 38 is returning to the field for the first time since it became just the second retired number in the Rebels’ storied football history in 2006, joining Archie Manning’s No. 18. This also marks the first year for the award pool to be expanded to include all upperclassmen.

Shackelford will be recognized Saturday when Ole Miss conducts the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl spring football game, set for 1 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/ Hollingsworth Field.

“I never want something to just be about me, because I didn’t get here on my own,” said Shackelford following his emotional acceptance speech. “My family, my coaches and my teammates have helped make me who I am. I thank God and the people that have helped me get here.

“Like Chucky, I’ll ‘never quit’ in all that I do.”

A two-year letterman from Decatur, Ala., Shackelford played in all 12 games with six starts as a sophomore last season. Playing both defensive end and Will linebacker, he topped the Rebels and finished 13th in the SEC with 5.0 sacks. Shackelford also led the team in QB hurries, ranked second in TFLs and seventh in tackles. He was an SEC All-Freshman team selection by the league coaches in 2009.

Off the field, Shackelford is a social studies education major and a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll honoree. He was a 2010 nominee for the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.

Shackelford joins 21 former Ole Miss Rebels to receive the Chucky Mullins Courage Award.  They include Chris Mitchell, Jeff Carter, Trea Southerland, Johnny Dixon, Alundis Brice, Michael Lowery, Derek Jones, Nate Wayne, Gary  Thigpen, Ronnie  Heard, Anthony  Magee, Kevin  Thomas, Lanier  Goethie, Jamil  Northcutt,  Eric  Oliver, Kelvin  Robinson, Patrick  Willis, Jeremy  Garrett, Jamarca  Sanford, Marcus  Tillman and Kentrell  Lockett.

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