Shanks led the nation in punt returns with 19.8 return average on 17 returns in 2012. He returned two punts for touchdowns with a 74-yard return against Fort Lewis and 75-yard return versus UNLV. The 75-yard return was the sixth-longest run back in school history and longest since Pete Mandley's 85-yard return against Fresno State in 1983. He was also the first player in school history to have two returns of 74 yards or more in a season or a career.
The Pacoima, Calif., native was named the National Punt Returner of the Week two times by the College Football Performance Awards. He earned All-America honors from three organizations, including College Sports Madness (second-team), The Sports Network (third team) and Beyond Sports Network (honorable mention).
The goal of the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. CFPA recognizes weekly, annual, and multi-season (career) award recipients – selected based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.