Ole Miss Football Players Serve As Pre-College Counselors

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM D.T. Shackelford
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
D.T. Shackelford
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Aug. 9, 2011

OXFORD, Miss. – While many college athletes spend their summer bulking up for the fall or enjoying their free time at home, two Ole Miss football players spent their time giving back to the state of Mississippi in a big way. Football team members D.T. Shackelford and Kermit Tyler spent their summers as pre-college program counselors for the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education at the University of Mississippi.

Both Shackelford and Tyler were counselors for students in Gear Up, a federally funded grant residential program that brings rising 10th graders from around the state to the Oxford campus for week-long classes. After their time with three sessions of Gear Up, the pair continued as summer counselors for other Outreach programs: Tyler with Summer Academy, a residential program for 7th, 8th and 9th graders, and Shackelford with JumpStart, a credit program for incoming UM freshmen.

“Kermit and D.T. were two of our best counselors,” said Cass Dodgen, Director of Pre-College Programs. “They both possess an innate ability to level with high school kids and point them in the right direction.”

In addition to being academic mentors for students age 13 – 18, Tyler and Shackelford put in long hours acting as positive role models for nearly 500 students during the summer. From 6 a.m. wake-up calls to 11 p.m. room checks, and everything in between, Tyler and Shackelford did it all.

Tyler, who is on a medically exempt scholarship after a career-ending condition, says that while the summer was much more difficult that he originally anticipated, it was a great learning experience.

“I heard about the programs from a friend of mine and it sounded like something I would be interested in doing. It’s not for everyone. You really have to know how to balance your time and be able to fit school, work and your own activities into one day,” said Tyler, who managed to take two summer school classes as well as attend mandatory team tutoring sessions every day. “I would definitely do it again.”

Shackelford, who wants to be a school principal after his football career, is no stranger to working with youth. In his hometown of Decatur, Ala., Shackelford worked with the local Neighborhood Christian Center throughout high school. He says he was able to draw on that experience during his time in Gear Up.

“It wasn’t an easy job, but when you have a passion for something, it makes it a lot easier,” Shackelford said. “Some days it was work, but I loved it.”

Still recovering from off-season knee surgery, the 2011 Chucky Mullins award recipient rehabbed his knee while carrying out all of the duties expected of a Pre-College Programs counselor and more. He used the injury as an example for high school students with NFL dreams who may not have considered the repercussions of unforeseen events.

“You have to have something up top.  You always have to have a back-up plan,” said Shackelford, who says he tried to level with students and let them be themselves. “Gear Up gave them hope. A lot of them are lost, not by choice, but because of the environment in which they are raised. It’s only right for me to give back to the state and community.”


  • 07/15/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Shackelford Nominated for Allstate AFCA...

    For the second straight year, Ole Miss' Deterrian Shackelford (Decatur, Alabama) has been nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, which is one of the most coveted and prestigious off-... Read More [+]

    07/10/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Bramlett Selected To NCAA SAAC

    Ole Miss baseball player Brady Bramlett was selected to represent the Southeastern Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Bramlett's appointment... Read More [+]

    07/09/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Track Volunteers with Horizons Summer...

    The Ole Miss head track coach Brian O'Neal and assistant coach Greg Stringer opened up the Manning Center for the participants in Ole Miss' Horizons Summer Learning program on Wednesday (July 9).... Read More [+]

    06/27/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Rebels Volunteer with Horizons Summer...

    The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the Tuohy Center and put the participants in Ole Miss' Horizons Summer Learning Program through some drills on Friday (June 27) morning. Read More [+]

    06/16/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Nall Begins Year-Long Internship With NCAA

    Mary Ashton Nall grew up around intercollegiate athletics, specifically college football. Her father, Hugh, played football at Georgia and coached at Ole Miss and Auburn. From competing in the NCAA... Read More [+]

    05/19/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Nall, Nichols Make SEC Community Service Team

    Ole Miss seniors Mary Ashton Nall and Alex Nichols were named to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Community Service Teams for women's and men's track and field, respectively. Read More [+]

    05/06/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss Athletics Assists With Tornado...

    Ole Miss Athletics delivered a 35-foot trailer stacked full of donations on Monday to help storm victims around Mississippi. Read More [+]

    05/02/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss Gathering Aid For Mississippi...

    Through the Rebel Relief Project, Ole Miss fans and area residents will have the opportunity to donate household and clothing items for tornado victims across Mississippi at various locations in... Read More [+]

    04/15/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Ole Miss SAAC Hosting Shoe Drive

    The Ole Miss Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is partnering with Purshoeing Joy to collect used shoes for children in Guatemala. SAAC members will be collecting shoes at Friday's (April... Read More [+]

    04/02/2014 - Rebel Ready

    Special Olympics Tennis Event Held At Ole ...

    Ole Miss hosted the Special Olympics tennis event at the Gillom Sports Center Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the North Mississippi Regional Center. Read More [+]

    • Archie to Receive Gold Medal from NFF on Tuesday

      Monday, December 5, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss legend Archie Manning will be receiving the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal on Tuesday, December 6, at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Memphis

      Saturday, December 3, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Memphis (6-1) KenPom ranking: 89 Ole Miss is presented another opportunity on Saturday to grab a nice win when Memphis travels to the Pavilion for the Tigers first road game of the season. The Rebels let an opportunity slip... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Middle Tennessee State

      Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Middle Tennessee State (6-1) KenPom ranking: 108 The next six days could go a long way in building the Rebels' postseason resume, and that stretch begins tonight with Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders return seven players that knocked off No. 2... read more

    • Rebels' Most Valuable Senior: D.J. Jones

      Monday, November 28, 2016 - Football

      Defensive tackle D.J. Jones has been recognized by the Jackson Touchdown Club as the Most Valuable Senior on the Rebels' football team. He will be recognized with the award tonight during the C Spire Most Valuable Senior Program at the... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

      Saturday, November 26, 2016 - Football

      The 2016 season began with high hopes and expectations. Those are the things that accompany a No. 12 preseason ranking. Instead, it became a season of injuries, what-ifs, close calls and disappointments. Instead of championships, the season came to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 21, 2016 - Football

      It's Egg Bowl week. That should be enough motivation for the players and coaches. The game means an extraordinary amount to this university and theirs. Ole Miss has faced adversity, but now they have a chance to go to a... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 14, 2016 - Football

      Freeze said that it was good meeting with the team yesterday. A lot of good things happened with a lot of improvement in a lot of areas. To go on the road to Kyle Field, there was a lot of... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, November 7, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} Freeze said the team is excited to win a game. It was a tough one. They spent a lot... read more

    • Shorthanded Rebels Come Together to Fight Off Georgia Southern

      Saturday, November 5, 2016 - Football

      By Alex Sims, Ole Miss AthleticsThe Ole Miss Rebels entered Saturday's meeting with Georgia Southern already shorthanded--then defensive captain John Youngblood went down. Then quarterback Chad Kelly went down. And suddenly, Ole Miss found itself fighting off a feisty underdog... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 31, 2016 - Football

      After meeting yesterday and watching the film, our kids competed against one of the hottest football teams in the country. They needed a couple more plays. Freeze has zero frustration over effort, but he does over having a recurring problem... read more

    • Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

      Saturday, October 29, 2016 - Football

      For most of the game on Saturday, Auburn's defense had no answer for Ole Miss' signal caller. Even his incompletions were on target. He threw for a school-record 465 yards while adding 40 yards on the ground to eclipse... read more

    • Notes from Freeze's Press Conference

      Monday, October 24, 2016 - Football

      It was not the outcome Ole Miss wanted on Saturday night. Life doesn't get any easier in the SEC West. Auburn is an outstanding football team and maybe the best defensive they've seen this year. Their rushing game is... read more

    • Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

      Thursday, October 20, 2016 - Football

      Somehow, the college football regular season is already halfway in the books. With that, many publications released their midseason All-America lists. There's a common theme to each of them at the TE position. Evan Engram.Engram was selected as the... read more

    • Ole Miss Unified Rebels Hold Flag Football Championship Tomorrow

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Special Olympics MS - Students at the University of Mississippi are partnering with Special Olympics Mississippi athletes in the 2016 season of SO College unified flag football, which will culminate in the Unified Egg Bowl, a unified sports flag... read more

    • Jordan Sims Graded as Best SEC Guard of Week 7 by PFF

      Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - Football

      Pro Football Focus grades players on a 1-100 scale, and Ole Miss' Jordan Sims was graded out by PFF as having the best performance of any guard in the SEC in week seven. His grade of 81.0 against the... read more

OFFICIAL STORE