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Provo • Plenty of people have spent the week telling BYU football players that East Carolina is a formidable foe for the Cougars, but when defensive back Michael Shelton tells them, they listen intently.
Because Shelton would know.
The redshirt freshman who recorded his first career interception in Friday's 30-13 win over UConn, played at Wakefield High in Raleigh, N.C., which is about a 90-minute drive from Greenville, where ECU is located. While Nebraska, Boise State and UCLA are more well-known nationally, Shelton says ECU has similar athletes, especially in the skill positions.
"They are going to be very fast, and very good," he said Tuesday.
Shelton, one of the smallest players on the team at 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, said he had offers from only Auburn and BYU when he committed to play for the Cougars. But after word got out that he had committed to BYU, East Carolina and local schools such as Duke and North Carolina started to show interest.
"I know a lot of guys that play for them. I have a few former teammates from high school that play for them. A lot of guys I played against in high school play for them. So yeah, I am quite familiar with ECU," Shelton said.
BYU coaches learned about the prospect who lived more than 2,200 miles from Provo because Shelton is Mormon.
"I knew I wanted to come to BYU pretty quickly," he said. "The decision that led to that was my visit here. My visit here was probably one of my most favorite experiences here. I have never felt more welcome, or more at home. That's why it is no problem being so far from my actual home. It is a great place."
Shelton redshirted last year because he suffered an injury toward the end of preseason camp.
Now, he's battling starting corners Micah Hannemann and Michael Davis for playing time and getting on the field when the Cougars go to their nickel package.
Sikahema heading to Polynesian Hall of Fame
Former BYU running back and kicker returner Vai Sikahema will be inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, the hall's organizing committee announced Wednesday. Sikahema, who played for BYU from 1980-81 and from 1983-85, became the first Tongan to play in the NFL after he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Former BYU coach LaVell Edwards and former Utah coach Ron McBride are on the selection committee. The other inductees for the class of 2016 are Charlie Ane, Jr., Rockne Freitas, Troy Polamalu and Al Lolotai.
Enshrinement ceremonies are scheduled for Jan. 29 and 30 in Oahu, Hawaii.
Charges against Davis reduced, dismissed
BYU cornerback Michael Davis pled no contest to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault and a charge of misdemeanor riot against Davis was dropped on Oct. 1 in a case involving Davis' dispute over a parking spot at a Provo apartment complex in July.
Davis, a junior from Glendale, Calif., who has started all five of BYU's games this season, must pay a $250 fine and attend an anger management course.
BYU is 20-5 against members of the American Athletic Conference as it is now constituted. … BYU receiver Mitch Mathews ranks No. 9 nationally with five TD receptions.
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