Linebacker Ed Shockley ‘humble and hungry’ in his final season



Ed Shockley in action during a game last season.

Staff Writer Dave Jarman

The linebacker position in football is key for any defense, and the type character a player needs to have in order to play it needs to be intimidating and fearless. Schockley seems to have that mentality. 

“I like the position because you get to deliver the hit rather than receive it,” Shockley said. 

While he may be intimidating on the field, what’s surprising about Shockley is that he doesn’t carry that same mentality off the field. When you get to know him personally, he’s actually quite the opposite. 

“I’m a very mellow guy. That’s how my parents raised me,” Shockley said. “They raised me to be humble and made me realize that not everybody has the same opportunities as you, and there’s always someone else out there who has it worse.”  

With both of his parents working nine-to five jobs to support his family, Shockley was raised in a strict household that valued academics, discipline and hard work. That’s the attitude that has instilled in him since he was a child. 

“I watched my parents work hard from night to day, working doubles,” Shockley recalled. “They were a very strict household everybody following the rules or there’s consequenes.”  

With a hard working attitude at a young age, that was the type of mentality he took to the game of football, when he first started playing at the age of seven.    

“Football was always around in my family,” Shockley said. “Whether it was playing out [in my] back [yard] or watching it on Sundays, football was always something done in my household. Even when I was at a young age, my dad would get off work, I’d do my homework and then we’d go out to the field. We had ladder drills, all types of footwork and football drills, and we would do that three to four times a week. I didn’t think it was a punishment, because I loved it. I love working hard, it just makes everything come easier.”  

By the time he was in the seventh grade, football became Shockley’s passion. That’s when he realized it could be his ticket to college.    

In his sophomore year at Millville High School in South Jersey, Shockley had a breakout season, along with his team. While Millville was playing some of the better teams in South Jersey, his coaches started to notice his abilities and they knew that the Millville native had a future in football. 

“I always thought I was good, but it took a few of my high school coaches to look and see how good I was,” Shockley said. “Comparing me to other people and got my goal focused on that. Playing college football was always a goal of mine, but it became a reality for me sophomore year.” 

 While he was recruited by FCS schools such as New Hampshire, Bryant and Monmouth Universities, the school that stood out the most was the University. What stood out to him were the academics the school on the Main Line brings, and the success of their football players from South Jersey. The legacy of former head coach Andy Talley played a part, as well. 

“I always knew he was a great coach, successful coach and one thing that he did was that he won,” Shockley said. “He made sure his kids graduated. Coming here, that was my moms big thing, ‘How’s the education here?’ He told me he never had a kid drop out, and his track record speaks for itself on the field. And him being here for so long showed stability.”  

When Shockley came to the University, he started to play significant minutes right away. By the end of his freshman season, he started every game and has only missed one game in his four years starting at middle linebacker. While it is rare for players to start on a football team as a freshman, some become arrogant and cocky. As for Shockley, he was able to instill the same values he had growing up. 

“When you come from high school, you were ‘that guy’ that was the best player on their team,” Shockley said. “So coming in humble, it made me more hungry in a way I wanted to prove to myself, not only to my teammates, coaches, but to everyone in the league that I could play here and I was also proving to myself. Coming into Villanova getting offers from other CAA schools, everybody thinks they can play for schools like Alabama, and big schools like that. So coming in with that chip on my shoulder I felt like I had something to prove.”

His production on the field has increased each season, as he recorded 52 solo tackles (76 total), four and a half sacks and 11 tackles for loss as a junior. Part of his motivation to succeed on the field are the goals he has set for himself for the end of this season, which is a list that can be seen on the screensaver of his phone. He wants to have 140 solo tackles, 10 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and five interceptions by the end of his Wildcat career.   

“That’s what motivates me,” Shockley said. 

While he is close to reaching some of those goals, he realizes that football is a team game, and it’s all about the goals for the team, including winning the CAA and National Championship.  

“Even if I don’t get them I wouldn’t be hurt, but if you set your goals high it would only help me, myself becoming a better player, but hopefully to help my team” Shockley added. 

With all of his accomplishments he has achieved so far on the field, the greatest one of all is off the field, as he is the first kid in his family to go to college. ‘Proud’ is an understatement on how his family feels about this accolade. They show it every time he steps foot onto the field. 

“My whole family is definitely proud,” Shockley said. “I have a lot of support from my family. They come to almost every game. They are 20 deep in the crowds, so I  wouldn’t say [there’s] any pressure, but it fuels my fire a little bit. It makes me want to not just stop here, [it] makes me want to be the best I can be at anything.”