CB Prospect Josh Shaw Trying To Show His Real Self


Cornerback prospect Josh Shaw is on the redemption tour.

He talks about his errors in judgment in a calm, matter-of-fact way. He looks you in the eye and makes sure to shake your hand every chance he gets.

Near the start of his senior season, Shaw lied to his coaches, and everyone else, about how he suffered a pair of ankle sprains. He made up a story about jumping off a roof into a pool to save a drowning nephew.

He was at first lauded as a hero, but the story eventually unraveled. His attorney released a statement that admitted to the lie, and simply noted the injury occurred "in a fall." Shaw was suspended and played in just three games.  

The incident undoubtedly hurt Shaw's draft stock. Before the season, he was one of college football's best cornerbacks. Now he's battling to be regarded in the same light again.

He's currently projected as a third-round pick, but this year's pre-draft process means a lot more to him than most prospects.

"It's important for people to see me eye-to-eye and see the real Josh Shaw," he said during Senior Bowl week. "This entire week and last week at the East-West, that was probably more important than anything."

Shaw said he has met with the Ravens, who have a need for cornerbacks in this year's draft. That doesn't mean a whole lot considering prospects speak with numerous NFL representatives during the Senior Bowl, but Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz also mentioned Shaw as one player who stood out during Senior Bowl practices.

"He's a big, physical kid," Hortiz said. "When you look at him, he's a 6-foot corner with outstanding build to his frame. He's very strong, very developed. He's strong as a press guy. He's maybe a little rusty in terms of play technique, but I think he's got some potential."

Some of that rust showed in the game. Shaw had trouble locating the ball, which led to him giving up a pair of big plays. He nearly allowed a touchdown to Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates and was flagged once for pass interference.

Still, evaluators generally take more out of the week's practices than they do the game performance.

"I was able to show that I get better," he said. "Each practice I learned new techniques that I wasn't that accustomed to throughout my collegiate career. I think I showed that I can adapt to what they want from me. It's still a long process, but overall I did get better."

Shaw said he would respectfully leave what he told other teams about his lying between them, but said that every team has asked about it. Some teams have gone into more depth than others, Shaw said.

"It was just important for me to be honest and forthcoming with them," he said. "[The real Josh Shaw] is someone that puts others before himself, very caring, loving and, of course, a guy that made a mistake and learned from it."

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