The Trojans picked up an unexpected addition on Tuesday when it was learned that former University of Florida safety Josh Shaw has decided to enroll at USC for the spring semester.
It had been reported last week that Shaw would be heading to UCLA, but he was unable to meet academic transfer requirements with the Bruins.
Shaw (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) played locally at Palmdale High School, and it was his former high school coach who confirmed that he would be transferring to USC.
Shaw was the No. 3 ranked cornerback in ESPNU rankings in 2010 – the No. 28 ranked player in the nation – and had been recruited hard by the Trojans under Pete Carroll before choosing Florida over USC, Ohio State and others.
Shaw redshirted for the Gators in 2010, which turned out to be the final season in Gainesville for Urban Meyer. As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Shaw ended the year with 22 tackles despite being in a rotation with three other players at safety.
His relationship with the Florida coaches was solid and there were no team-related concerns involved with the transfer. Instead, there were family health issues, which caused Shaw to look at transferring to a school closer to his Southern California home.
The Trojans are getting a solid player who should be able to contribute at a key position of need. It’s unclear if Shaw will be eligible for 2012 -- he will apply for a hardship waiver with the NCAA -- but he is a solid bet as a player even with only two years of eligibility remaining in 2013 if the waiver is denied.
Shaw is a very skilled athlete with good size. There was a lot of thought that he could play corner in college. That has not panned out, as he is now a safety, but it should give an indicator of his athleticism. He is also known for his ball skills, an important attribute in the wide-open Pac-12 Conference.
Shaw is tentatively scheduled to enroll at USC this week, although there will be no confirmation from the school until he is officially enrolled.