January 28, 2009 Edition

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Shrable completes football
career at Arkansas State

Brett Shrable completed 55 punts during his senior year at ASU with an average distance of 38.2 yards.
Gretchen Hunt

Brett Shrable, former Hoxie High School football standout, has begun his transformation from player to coach. He played his final season with Arkansas State University in 2008, as ASU unveiled its new mascot, the Red Wolves.

"It was an honor to be able to represent them for the fi rst year," Shrable said. "I hope we did well enough for the fans and everyone else."

Among the highlights of his senior season were the team's victory over Middle Tennessee on Sept. 20 and the buildup to the Dec. 6 game at Troy.

"Beating Middle Tennessee for the first time was probably a high point of the season," he said. "The atmosphere in the locker room before the Troy game was pretty fun - having a chance to win the conference title when three weeks before you wouldn't have thought that it was possible."

Shrable was selected to Athlon's Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference and Phil Steele's Fourth Team All-Sun Belt Conference. He was also on the Ray Guy Award Watch List. The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to college football's top punter.

Red Wolf Brett Shrable punts the ball during Arkansas State's game at Alabama during the 2008 season.

He punted 55 times during his senior season for a total of 2,102 yards. His average was 38.2 yards with his seasonbest punt being 52 yards at Memphis on Sept. 27.

As Shrable thought back over his college career, he said it felt good to have completed the four years of play, but he did express a twinge of regret.

"I really regret not being red-shirted," he said. "I'd like to have a fifth year."

ASU head football coach Steve Roberts said that is often the case for college players.

"All seniors who didn't [red-shirt] wish they had, and all freshmen want to play," he said. "They don't think about how much better they are going to be at 22 than at 18.".

Shrable played in 10 games as a true freshman at linebacker and on special teams. In 2006, he took over punting duties for the Indians and finished the year with an average of 38.1 yards on 52 punts.

As a junior, he was a Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection. He recorded his career-best punt of 57 yards in 2007.

Now, Shrable will turn his attention to completing his coursework. He expects to graduate in December of this year with an education degree in physical education and health and a minor in history.

"I plan to coach and teach after I graduate," he said.

As Shrable begins plans for his coaching career, he had praise for his high school coach.

"Coach Sears is a really good coach and instills a good work ethic," he said. "He almost runs the Hoxie program like a small college. It made the transition easier."

He cited HHS Head Coach Tom Sears' emphasis on studies, off-season workouts and accountability as mimicking his experiences at the college level.

Sears said it was a pleasure to coach Shrable while he was playing at Hoxie and that he is proud of what he has accomplished.

"Brett is one of the best athletes I've ever had the opportunity to coach," Sears said. "He was a tremendous competitor who hated to lose."

Though Shrable won't be suiting up with the Red Wolves in the fall, he will still be a part of the program. He will remain on scholarship and will be working for the athletic department doing a variety of tasks.

Coach Roberts said Shrable has enjoyed success at ASU both on and off the field.

"Brett is an outstanding young man," he said. "He did everything in his power to make our football team and university be successful. He did a great job academically and has certainly been a big part of our turnaround here at Arkansas State."

The son of Carol Shrable of Walnut Ridge and the late Gary Shrable, he is married to the former Candis Jenee Ware.

(Editor's Note: A feature on Drew Gardner, Shrable's teammate at Hoxie who plays for Vanderbilt, will appear in next week's TD)

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