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Ole Miss defensive end/linebacker Deterrian Schackelford is playing in his sixth season as an Ole Miss Rebel after petitioning the NCAA for an additional year of eligibility. The NCAA permits players to petition for a sixth year of eligibility if they miss most or all of one or more seasons due to illness or injury.
Shackelford, who earned All-Freshman SEC honors in 2009 and started six games in 2010, tore the ACL in his right knee in spring practice prior to his junior year, which led him to redshirt the 2011 season. The following spring, he re-injured the knee and had a second surgery that forced him to miss the 2012 season as well.
In 2011, three days after his initial knee injury, Shackelford became the first junior ever named winner of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. As most Rebel fans know, Chucky Mullins was injured during a homecoming game in 1989 and never returned to the field. Though he was paralyzed and later passed away, he inspired generations of football fans and players with his heart, spirit and determination.
Winning the Chucky Mullins Award is the highest honor for a Rebel football player—so it should come as no surprise that Deterrian Shackelford again won the award this spring, becoming the only player to ever receive the honor twice.
Making the most of six years
Saying Shackelford has made the most of his time at Ole Miss is an understatement. He graduated in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in history and again in the summer of 2014 with a master’s degree in higher education. He is currently pursuing a second master’s degree.
His academic awards are numerous: the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, Dean’s Honor Roll, SEC Academic Honor Roll and U.M.A.A. Honor Roll are some of the distinguished lists to which he has been named.
His recognition for community service participation is as extensive as his academic awards, as he has been named to the AFCA Good Works Team, the SEC Community Service Team, and was a semifinalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup Award.
Oh, and did we mention he has led two different groups of Ole Miss football players on mission trips to Panama and Haiti?
It is hard to picture any player making better use of his six years than Deterrian Shackelford.
But as any athlete will tell you, it is difficult to achieve excellence in the classroom, the community, and on the athletic field over a typical four-year college career. Imagine how challenging it would be to stay motivated and focused over the course of six years AND two severe knee injuries.
Yet, Shackelford embraced the challenge and overcame all obstacles to get to where he is today. So how did he do it?
The Rebel Walk interviewed the only two-time Chucky Mullins Award winner and asked how he stayed motivated and what kept him going over so many years at Ole Miss. His answer tells you all you need to know about the character of Deterrian Shackelford.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.