Shugarts gets out and about

In nine months, Klein's J.B. Shugarts has exploded onto the recruiting scene as one of the top 2008 national recruits. Shugarts (6-7, 295-pounds) has been on a whirlwind tour of college campuses, meeting some of the nation's best coaches and upcoming prospects.
His camp and unofficial visit itinerary was littered with BCS schools from the Big 12, Big 10 and SEC. Shugarts hit camps at Texas A&M, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida, while making visits to LSU, Penn State and Oklahoma.
While he's one of the nation's top offensive lineman, Shugarts will be concentrating on his season at Klein while checking his mail box for several official offer letters.
"We are going to wait and see what comes in," father Brett Shugarts said, who coaches defensive line at St. Pius in Houston. "At the winter break we will narrow it down to five or six schools and go from there. As far as football goes, we have set goals every year for him. He keeps hitting those goals. As a sophomore he wanted to be an all-district selection, this year he wants to be all-state and as a senior to be an all-American.
"He wants to choose a college where he will play and have a chance at a national championship. He's really developed some more nastiness. He should dominate this season."
After taking a stop at Texas A&M and Texas, he visited Penn State.
"I grew up about an hour-and-a-half from Penn State," Shugarts' father said. "Coach (Joe) Paterno wasn't on campus, but J.B thought Nittany Stadium was incredible."
After Penn State, the Shugarts participated the Michigan Wolverine camp, where he roomed with Texarkana quarterback Ryan Mallet. Former teammate Mark Ortmann of Klein was on campus and will see some significant playing time for the Wolverines.
"We had a great time at Michigan," Shugarts' father said. "He was the top offensive lineman at the camp. The highlight was meeting Bo Schembechler. Coach was a little before J.B.'s time, but he realized he was a football icon."
The Ohio State advanced senior camp was next and Shugarts was equally impressed with the attention he received.
Shugarts hit the Florida "Friday Night Lights" combine in Gainesville as well.
"He was blown away by that," Shugarts said. "It's a great setup. They have the top 100 kids they are recruiting and invite them for a combine in the Swamp. There are fans there and it's under the lights.
"We met James Thomas (La Marque) and Terrance Toliver (Hempstead) there," he said.
Other tidbits on the Shugarts' fantasy tour included a verbal offer from LSU coach Les Miles on campus and spending the week with Gilmer, Texas prospects Justin Johnson and Curtis Brown.
"They've gotten to become good friends at Texas and Oklahoma," Shugarts said. "What he took away from Oklahoma was the fact that Coach (Bob) Stoops wants to keep in touch with him on a weekly basis over the phone. He really liked that."
Coaches throughout the country also encouraged him to continue playing basketball. Shugarts has played varsity basketball for Klein since his freshman season, which has assisted in his footwork on the field.