Prospects

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Photo of A.Q. Shipley
A.Q. Shipley (C)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 304
College: Penn St.
Conference: Big Ten
Hometown: Coraopolis, PA
High School: Moon Area
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Pittsburgh Steelers
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 17 (226)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: Shipley is short and has short arms compared to the prototypical center, but he's still an outstanding football player. It's tough to be in the NFL at his height and with his arm length, but he has very good ability. He will fit in well with the Steelers as a local Pennsylvania boy.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The first center to serve as team captain since Barry Tielsch in 1996, Shipley had a banner senior campaign for the Nittany Lions. In addition to being named the recipient of the Rimington Trophy, given to college football's best center, he became the 92nd player in school history to be named a first-team All-American.


Shipley proved to be a tough competitor, anchoring a front wall that led the Big Ten Conference and ranked fourth in the nation for fewest quarterback sacks allowed (1.00 spg). That stellar protection allowed PSU to generate 243.08 passing yards per game, the third-best total in the league.


A respected team leader, Shipley is an intense and physical presence on the line. He is also one of the squad's most engaging personalities and played a jovial Santa Claus at the team's bowl game Christmas party during the 2005 and '06 seasons. An accomplished golfer, he graduated last December with a degree in Labor and Industrial Relations.


At Moon Area High School, Shipley was a standout defensive lineman in four seasons with the varsity. He was a member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25, and the Harrisburg Patriot-News Platinum 33 squads and also played in the 2004 "Big 33" Classic. As a senior, he helped the squad reach the Western Pennsylvania District Class AAA semifinals after winning the Parkway Conference title.


Shipley recorded 53 tackles as a senior, including 13 for loss and three sacks, as he also forced two fumbles. He ended his career with 243 tackles, 41 for loss and 13 sacks. He also was a three-year starter in basketball and was a two-year captain of the football and basketball teams.


In 2004, Shipley competed on the Penn State scout team as a defensive tackle. The following year, he shuttled between the offensive and defensive lines. He moved to center in 2005 spring drills, providing depth there and at offensive guard the first half of the season. Prior to the Illinois game, he went back to defensive tackle, making five tackles with two sacks the remainder of the season, participating in 226 snaps for the 2005 campaign.


In 2006, Shipley secured a starting job at center, competing in 897 plays. He tallied 54 knockdowns with seven touchdown resulting blocks and also recorded a solo tackle vs. Northwestern. PSU's offense managed to average 349.92 yards per game, as the offensive line allowed only 23 sacks.


As a junior, Shipley was named to the All-Big Ten Conference first-team by the league's coaches and was a candidate for the Rimington Trophy. He registered 76 knockdowns that included nine touchdown-resulting blocks. He made ESPN's All-Bowl team, experiencing every lineman's dream, as he caught a deflected pass for a 4-yard gain vs. Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. Behind his block-calling, he helped the team rank third in the Big Ten Conference in rushing (193.77 ypg), as the Nittany Lions also amassed 5,201 yards in total offense.


In 2008, Penn State's offense was explosive, thanks to the stellar play of its senior-laden front wall. The Big Ten Conference's Offensive Lineman of the Year recorded 11 touchdown-resulting blocks to go with 78 knockdowns. The team finished as the league leader in pass efficiency (145.35 rating), total offense (448.92 ypg) and points scored (38.92 ppg).


High School

Attended Moon Area (Coraopolis, Pa.) High school, playing football for head coach Mark Capuano...Standout defensive lineman in four seasons with the varsity...Member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25, and the Harrisburg Patriot-News Platinum 33 squads...Played in the 2004 "Big 33" Classic...As a senior, he helped the squad reach the Western Pennsylvania District Class AAA semifinals after winning the Parkway Conference title...Recorded 53 tackles as a senior, including 13 for loss and three sacks, as he also forced two fumbles...Ended his career with 243 tackles, 41 for loss and 13 sacks...Three-year starter in basketball and was a two-year captain of the football and basketball teams.


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Analysis

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Positives: Stout, tough and physical at the point, plays like the former nose guard he is. Strong anchor in pass protection, and does not get bull-rushed as he uses his wide base to maintain leverage. Battles everyone and anyone on the field, playing through the whistle. Good enough feet to combo (in either direction) then get to the linebacker or safety and angle him while engaged. Adept at shotgun. Gets hands up quickly after the snap. Gets off his man to pick up late blitzers using his feet and hands. Only adequate moving laterally on pulls, but is still able to wall off linebackers inside. Team leader. Makes accurate line adjustments.


Negatives: Lacks height, bulk and arm length. Projects to center only, probably in a zone-blocking system. Short arms prevent him from maintaining contact with tackles on the move, which lets his man shed or get past him. Initial punch is only adequate. Does not consistently sustain his blocks, especially against stronger tackles.


Injury Report

No major injuries reported.


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