Thursday, July 11, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 17 Kenny Shaw
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
FSU senior receiver Kenny Shaw should be a reliable target in the slot this fall.
What he's done: A contributor at Florida State since he first arrived on campus, Shaw has seen his role grow each year. After busting out with 418 yards and four TDs as a sophomore in 2011, Shaw became one of EJ Manuel's most reliable targets last season, catching 33 passes for a career-best 532 yards. His 16.12 yards-per-catch average was the eighth-best mark in the ACC, and he had four catches of 40-plus yards on the season. Shaw also put a merciful end to FSU's merry-go-round at punt returner, stepping into the starting job for the final four games of the season, finishing with 99 return yards.
Where he's at: With Rodney Smith gone and senior Greg Dent suspended indefinitely, Shaw is now the Seminoles' most experienced receiver and the clearcut starter in the slot. He showcased his skills to dramatic effect during this year's spring game in which he racked up a whopping 12 catches for 205 yards and a TD. His role on special teams remains a bit more of a mystery, as FSU figures to give several speedsters a look at punt returner, but Shaw's ability to stabilize the volatile position late last season provides a strong argument to keep the job.
What's to come: At 6-foot, 170 pounds, Shaw fits nicely into the slot for FSU, but that's also part of the problem. After years of trotting out tall, physical receivers, the Seminoles now have a wealth of players who can handle the slot but may be overmatched against more aggressive corners. Still, Shaw stands out as the best of the lot, and his veteran experience will only serve as an additional security blanket for new QB Jameis Winston. Shaw has seen his numbers increase each season -- from 36 yards to 418 to 532 -- and there's a good chance that happens again. He'll work in the shadow of Rashad Greene and potentially Kelvin Benjamin, but that could be a boon for FSU if opposing defenses overlook his skill set. Expect career highs once again from Shaw.