Tales from the trail: Will Shields nearly wound up at Arkansas and on defense

BY ROBERT PRZYBYLO, Staff Writer, bprzybylo@opubco.com Modified: January 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm •  Published: January 28, 2011
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It was a legendary career that almost wasn't for former Kansas City Chiefs and Lawton High star Will Shields.

Shields, who played 14 seasons at guard for the Chiefs, might not have had a career on the offensive line had he attended Arkansas.

“I got really close to going to Arkansas,” Shields said. “They wanted me as a defensive lineman. I thought about it. I would have had to lose some weight, and I just felt more comfortable on offense.”

It's not that Shields couldn't play defense. He was named The Oklahoman's All-State Defensive Player of the Year in 1988. Shields played on Lawton's 1987 state championship team.

For Shields, it came down to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Arkansas and Nebraska. Shields chose Nebraska.

“Nebraska had a lot of things going for it at the time, and my education was important,” Shields said. “Their academic program was great. I got to graduate in four years. It was perfect.”

Shields said he didn't participate in any crazy recruiting trips. Being a lineman, Shields said, “I was always just that extra guy that came with.”

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