greg.mcilvain@gaflnews.com



VALDOSTA -- How imperfect a science is recruiting?

To replace a depleted offensive line, Valdosta State football signed seven recruits for that area.

Yet when VSU goes to Albany State to open the 2002 season Saturday night, a walk-on true freshman may start at left tackle.

William Shelton came to Valdosta from South Gwinnett High. Plans to redshirt the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder went by the wayside when junior college transfer Jason Troutman injured a knee last week, probably sidelining him for a week or two.

"I kept asking Coach (Shawn) Bostick who this guy was," said head coach Chris Hatcher about Shelton. "We were so thin on the line we took two freshmen we really wanted to redshirt to be two-deep on the line."

Shaw's Marcellus Washington is the backup at left guard.

"We had the best class of offensive linemen we've had in a while, and here comes a guy (Shelton) that'an unknown," Hatcher said.

"That's why you have a walk-on program. You find guys who were just under the radar screen. He's definitely one of them."

Let the games begin.

"I know we can win with him. He's going to be a great player for us. We just need him to be great right now."

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Second-year volleyball coach Jon Teetzel's using his first recruiting class to restock the program.

Teetzel has six first-year players on his 11-woman roster. The Lady Blazers open the season Sunday, playing St. Leo at The Complex. First serve is at 2 p.m.

"They're clicking and they're gelling pretty good," Teetzel said after Monday's booster luncheon.

"We've still got to work on the little things to get where we need to be."

Five of the newcomers are freshmen. Two -- freshman hitter Marie Rolfe and senior middle Nicole Nightingale -- join fellow Canadian Teetzel in South Georgia.



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