January 25, 2022
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond in the Rough: Wyatt Shuff

Wyatt Shuff is a 4 star offensive tackle out of Iota High School in Iota, LA. Shuff’s huge frame makes him a nightmare for opposing defensive lines and excels as both a pass protector and a run blocker. Shuff stands at 6’4 270 lbs and has great speed off the ball with the footwork to back it. Along with his great physical attributes, Wyatt is an excellent student and role model in the classroom, boasting a 3.2 overall GPA. Shuff is a current commit to the 2019 Louisiana Gridiron All-Star Game, with an offer from Louisiana College and is also being targeted by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. 

When did you begin to get involved in football and what made you find a love for the sport?

I began playing football when I was around 6 or 7 years old for my hometown peewee team. My dad always loved the sport and I believe that helped grow my fondness for football. My uncle was an amazing football player who was committed and planned on playing for LSU as a center. Unfortunately, he died before he could play his first game. He is the reason I wear number 58. I think that it’s my way of honoring him and is something that has always motivated me.

What specifically about the game do you love and appreciate most?

Football is such a strategic sport, much more so than others, and I’ve always appreciated the strategy involved. Another aspect I love is the contact and aggressive nature of the sport. Making contact with opposing players really gets the adrenaline flowing and it’s something I’ve always fed off of. 

Coming off a huge 1st round playoff win, can you tell me what that accomplishment means for you and your teammates?

It really means the world to us. Losing at half, a lot of players were down on themselves and we weren’t coming together as a team. As the game went on we slowly started clicking and playing Iota football, playing the way we know we’re capable of. I think a victory like that can set the tone for the remainder of the playoffs and really instills confidence in our team and myself as well. 

Moving forward, what are some personal and team goals that you and the team look forward to getting accomplished?

For me its all about continuing to become the best offensive lineman that I can be. I’ve also worked hard all year long to solidify myself as a leader and I think I’ve done a great job at that. For the team, our original goal was to win district, but now that’s out of reach and we’re set and focused on winning a state championship.

Is there anyway that you get ready for a big game like the ones you see in the playoffs? Any rituals or pre-game superstitions?

Before a game I normally just listen to music to clear my head and get focused. Another thing I like to do is get a group of guys together and say a prayer because we know the Good Lord will guide us through the night and any adversity that we’re faced with.

What do you believe is the easiest part about playing football? The hardest?

There is no easy part about the game, really. It is a constant fight and there will always be challenges and adversity that you and a team needs to overcome. The hardest part for me has been footwork. Many linemen have problems with footwork and it’s something I need to be aware of. A lot of guys want to immediately lung forward but you have to focus on always keeping your feet moving to be an effective linemen. 

So you are committed to our 2019 All-Star Bowl Game. Tell me a little about what you are most excited about for that experience.

I’m really looking forward to playing with so many new people. I think it’s a great opportunity to form new bonds and friendships, while having the chance to interact with people I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to. It’s really exciting to be able to go out there and compete against the best players in the state of Louisiana. 

Do you have a role model or favorite football player that you have always looked up to?

It has always been Michael Oher. I’ve always loved his story and it motivates me every time I reflect on it. His story shows that, no matter your situation, you can truly make something out of your life if you truly work at it. From being barely able to afford food or a place to sleep to becoming one of the highest paid linemen in the NFL, his story is extremely inspiring. 

Finally, is there anything outside of football that you enjoy doing?

I do a lot of hunting and fishing. I also love to play my guitar. I enjoy my alone time and both those things really help me to just sit back and personally reflect on life or anything that has been on my mind.