Ole Miss defensive end D.T. Shackelford is considering applying for a sixth year of college eligibility, according to clarionledger.com. One of the more promising young players in the SEC in 2009 and 2010, two knee injuries kept Shackelford off the field in 2011 and 2012. The NCAA typically only grants a sixth year in cases characterized by extreme injury circumstances, but multiple ACL tears like Shackelford has had would likely merit strong consideration.
Shackelford said he still hasn't given up on hopes for an NFL career, but having already earned an undergraduate degree, he's prepared for anything.
"There's still probably some more education pursuits that I want to pursue," Shackelford said. "Either a doctorate or get another Master's. There's life after football, and I'm the one to know."
Shackelford (6-foot-1, 246 pounds) has returned this season to contribute defensively, but hasn't yet recaptured the form that helped him lead the Rebels in sacks as a sophomore in 2010. He's made 22 tackles, two for losses, on the season.
If Shackelford indeed applies for one more season, look for the NCAA to grant the request.