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Shackelford Returns for Sixth Year, Continues to be Passionate Leader

Deterrian “DT” Shackelford is a true Ole Miss veteran in his sixth season in a Rebel uniform this fall, and he has never given up on the game he loves, even after being sidelined for two back-to-back seasons with knee injuries.

DT Shackelford is geared up for his sixth year with the Rebels and fourth on the field. / Photos courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
DT Shackelford is geared up for his sixth year with the Rebels and fourth on the field. / Photos courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

“(My goal) was never just to come back — it was to come back and be something special and strive to be great on a daily basis, with the help of my teammates, coaches, family and all these different people that helped me in those two years,” Shackelford said.
DT has gone through two head coaching changes for the Rebels, playing under Houston Nut and Hugh Freeze, and he has excelled under both.
During his two seasons off the field due to injuries, DT was a true inspiration to his teammates and coaches by teaching and being a team leader from the sidelines. Shackelford is also a two-time recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, which he first received in 2011 after tearing his right ACL during the final week of spring practice.
“The impact that those two knee surgeries had on me, I kind of took on that spirit that Chucky displayed every day in the training room and different things I did,” Shackelford said after accepting the award. “I never knew I would have that kind of connection with him.” The award was an emotional one for Shackelford as the honor is not taken lightly by the Ole Miss defensive players. This season, Shackelford was voted the only Rebel to be awarded the Chucky Mullins award, making him the 25th recipient who is honored by wearing No. 38. DT shows the same passion and work effort as Mullins did as a player and as a support system for the team.
“The first award I received on crutches. I was in tears, because I was ready to play, but it wasn’t my time to play,” he said. “It’s the little things I’m able to appreciate now.”
082814_Boise_3453Shackelford has been a rock and captain on the Ole Miss defense since his freshman season in 2009. In his first season in the Southeastern Conference, Shackelford played with a mentality to get on the All-SEC freshman team. That year, he racked up a total of 20 tackles, fulfilling his goal and earning a spot on the team.
As a sophomore, he led the team with five sacks and was ranked 13th in the conference. DT also recorded 48 total tackles, forced one fumble and got one fumble recovery during that season.
His career as a Rebel has been challenged with knee injuries, with last season being the first time back on the field in two-seasons. During the 2013 season, Shackelford played every game at linebacker and saw two starts at defensive end. He was seventh in tackles in the SEC with 44, and 21 of them where solo plays.
Off the field, Shackelford is know as one of the most well-know people on campus and in Oxford as both a star football player and a community leader. He received his bachelor’s degree in history in May of 2012 and finished his master’s degree in higher education this past summer. DT is currently pursuing a second master’s degree while finishing his last season in a Rebel uniform.
Adam Brown is sports editor for HottyToddy.com and can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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