Two seasons ago Dequone Shaw was merely an onlooker when Dallas Roosevelt took the field on Friday nights.
He had the athleticism to play at the varsity level but hadn’t fully grasped the mental aspect of the game. So with a keen eye, the freshman watched and took mental notes.
“Just going to varsity games and seeing how people gave it their all and didn’t care about anything but football,” Shaw said. “That next season my coach came to me and told me I had to work hard to make varsity. I knew what I had to do to be a good varsity player. I did it and here I am now.”
Shaw has blossomed into one of the top defensive ends in Texas for 2014. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound speed rusher dominated his first year on varsity, racking up 107 tackles and 14 sacks.
“It had to do with my coaches putting me in good positions and me just working as hard as I can,” Shaw said. “I just had to play through whatever I had to play through, keep my pads low and stay in the backfield like I always do.”
In addition to his football exploits, the lengthy Shaw also stood out on the track. He has been clocked at a 39.66 in the 300-meter hurdles and has run a 50.04 in the 400.
“I’m always the tallest one in my race,” Shaw said. “My freshman year I ran the 4x200, 4x400, 300 hurdles and high jump. Last year I did the 4x1, 4x2, 4x4 and high jump.”
The diversity in his athleticism has drawn the attention of several college programs, including the Longhorns.
“Texas is like a welcome home,” Shaw said. “Playing at the next level period is just amazing. But to play somewhere like that, at one of those big schools, would be amazing.”
Shaw hasn’t spoken to Texas personally, but Longhorns coaches did extend an invitation to one of their June camps. He couldn’t attend due to transportation issues, but he plans on attending a Texas game this season, if invited.
He has also received interest from Baylor and Texas Tech. The Bears, however, are currently standing out above the rest.
“Just all the success they are having right now, the way their coaches coach you, and how the defense plays in the backfield. I just like the organization,” he said. “It’s not even football-wise. I like the school, all the classes they offer.”
Shaw said he is also receiving interest from Kansas and has heard of others stopping by his school.
He’ll work the phones to confirm any other interest, but for now, he is focused on putting up better numbers than the monstrous ones he collected as a sophomore.
“I plan to do way better next year,” Shaw said. “Each year I want to do a lot better. Instead of 14 sacks I want 28. Instead of 107 tackles, why not make it 214?”