The #1 spot on any set of rankings is the highest of high bars. Among all the athletes in the nation from the 2023 class, QB Cody Shelton was recently awarded the #1 spot in Youth1's Elite101 rankings.
For those unfamiliar, the Elite101 rankings have been a valuable resource for pinpointing the nation's absolute best athletes entering their 8th grade season.
Taking home the #1 spot is a prestiges honor from Youth1 Media and Football Director Ryan Oliver. No athlete is more deserving than the extremely talented Cody Shelton.
Standing at 5'6" 140 lbs., Shelton is one of the most impressive youth quarterbacks I've seen in my time as a scout. He has just about everything a coach could ask for in a youth QB. His accuracy is beyond his years and he may be the most poised youth QB I've seen.
Shelton is cool under pressure and a strong leader by example. He throws the ball with tremendous zip and can get the ball into tight windows. Most importantly, this young man is a winner. He makes his team better with his presence.
The Chesterfield, VA native was surprised to find out he was ranked #1.
"Shocked and surprised! I am confident in my God given ability and talents and feel that I can compete with anyone, however, I know how hard it is to be ranked #1 nationally in any sport, especially a highly competitive sport like football," Shelton told Youth1.com about his reaction to his ranking.
"I was going to bed to rest for a big game the next day (Saturday) and my dad tells me "Congratulations, you are ranked #1!" I had no idea what he was talking about. He shows me the post and I was blown away. I had no idea there was 8th grade national rankings for football. What an honor!"
Shelton puts on a show whenever he's on the field. He's a two time MVP at NextGen's The Show and has been given the nickname "Baby Brees" because his talent reminds people of the great Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. In 2017, he threw for 2,500 yards and 25 TDs for his Central Virginia Hurricanes 12U football team.
Even with all the success and accolades, Shelton remains one of the most humble athletes you'll meet. He's always cool and confident, but he knows there is so much more room to grow.
Shelton has big aspirations for himself.
"I feel honored and blessed to be part of an extremely talented list of football players. To be #1 is really unbelievable. I work extremely hard to be the best I can possibly be, at all levels -- spiritual, academic, physical, and athletic," Shelton said.
"I set a goal when I was 10 years old to be the #1 QB in the country at every level - Youth, HS, College, and NFL. This is step one, but I know that I need to keep working as hard as I can to get ready for the next level," he added.
Shelton has been on his grind during the offseason as he works to become the best QB he can be. He works with a QB trainer and does weight training two time a week. Additionally, Shelton participated in a 3 week QB training program and played with an elite 15U 7v7 team from Virginia Beach.
"This was a great opportunity," Shelton said of the his time playing for the 15U 7v7 team.
"I was the starting QB and had to play with a HS football against top freshman in the country. We did extremely well - every tournament (except 1) we won or were the runner up. I also attended the NextGen Elite Showcase and the 2018 Show. I also attended a USA Football Camp and was selected to play in the US National Team tournament," he added.
Big things are on the horizon for 2023 QB Cody Shelton, and he's looking forward to getting better each and every day. While being ranked #1 in the country is an impressive achievement, Shelton refuses to be satisfied.
"While this is an honor, it is not my end goal. Five years from now I want to be considered a top HS QB. I can't rely on what I did in youth football to get me there, I need to keep outworking the competition," Shelton said.
"Like Drew Brees has said, "I have to keep doing my best and let God do the rest.""
For more on Cody Shelton, check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
View the entire Elite101 -> here.
View Shelton's highlights below.
Speak with a Youth1 Recruiting Counselor
Youth1’s Recruiting Counselors are on a mission to educate you on the recruiting process - one that's very competitive and starts early. Let us provide guidance through the most important decisions that shape your athlete's journey in sports.
Learn how to become a recruitable student-athlete, find out what colleges you match best with, and get the ability to message college coaches directly with a specialized recruiting package.
Don't wait, schedule a time to speak with a Youth1 Recruiting Counselor. It's FREE! Just fill out the following information and then select a date and time in the form below.