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.”
Shields was a 12-time Pro Bowl selection with Kansas City. However, his legacy goes beyond the field. Shields was received the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2003 for his “Will to Succeed” Foundation, which he started in 1993. The foundation helps guide, inspire and improve the lives of abused and neglected women and children. Shields was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation's Man of the Year in December.
Shields owns and operates 68 Inside Sports, a gym and sports facility in Overland Park, Kan. Shields, his wife and their three kids live in Overland Park.
“I don't second-guess anything that's happened,” Shields said. “It's been a tremendous ride, and I can't complain.”