At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Joshua Shaw has a lot of options when it comes to lining up in the secondary for the Trojans.
The transfer from Florida is settling in nicely after transferring to USC at the spring semester. Shaw is going through winter conditioning drills with the team in preparation for spring ball and those drills include voluntary throwing sessions where Shaw has been lining up primarily at cornerback.
“I’m feeling more comfortable right now,” Shaw said. “Everyone has really welcomed me here and that’s made things easier. The coaches haven’t really told me which spot I’ll be playing, they just said they like what I bring to the table and we’ll figure it out later.”
Shaw was the No. 3 ranked cornerback in the nation by ESPNU in the class of 2010 out of Palmdale (Calif.) High School but he ended up at safety for the Gators. With his size, it was a natural move to make as many scouts had projected safety as his eventual spot anyways. For Shaw -- however -- there is a clear preference on which spot he would rather play.
“I want to play corner,” Shaw said. “Even when I was playing safety at Florida my heart was always at corner.”
It’s a huge weapon to have a corner with the kind of size that Shaw possesses. There just aren’t many athletes with that size who can keep up with the talented receivers in the game today, and that’s why it’s so valuable to find a big corner. Several years ago the Trojans had a versatile player in Terrell Thomas who went back and forth between the two spots. Eventually he settled in at corner and has put together a nice NFL career so far.
The Trojans would love for Shaw to make a similar impact as someone like Thomas. The first step will be to find out if Shaw will even be eligible this season, as the NCAA has yet to rule on his request for a medical family waiver, which would allow for him to play immediately for USC in 2012.