Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Shaw is '100 percent Gator'
By JC Shurburtt Scouts Inc.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For Under Armour All-American cornerback Joshua Shaw (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale), this past week featured a sweeping range of emotions. In the end, he was simply happy that the coach he had built a strong personal relationship with would not be departing the program he had picked to join.
Shaw, a Florida commitment, was stunned, just like all of college football, when Gators coach Urban Meyer announced Saturday that he was resigning after five years at the school.
"I got a text from a teammate, and he asked me if I was watching 'SportsCenter,'" Shaw said. "He told me that Urban was stepping down. I didn't believe it. Then my dad came and knocked on my door, and we went in my room and sat down and watched it."
At that point, it was all about reaching out with a spirit of concern to the coach who had gone the extra mile to build a relationship with his future player.
"Before I made any decisions, I said that I needed to talk to Urban," Shaw said. "I e-mailed him, then I gave him a call. It really wasn't about my situation; it was really about him. I know he loves the game so much, so I knew his health had to be on the downside then. My main thing was just making sure he was OK."
Joshua Shaw plans to do some recruiting on Urban Meyer's behalf at the UA game.
The conversation did include some discussion of Shaw's future.
"We just agreed that we would talk on Sunday and not jump to any conclusions at that time," he said. "We agreed I wouldn't try to decommit and call up other schools. Then I just left it in God's hands. The next morning, I got to talk to Urban. He told me that he basically isn't going anywhere."
That was refreshing news for Shaw, who said he felt like Meyer was personally recruiting him. He also said he did not know of any other head football coach out of all the programs recruiting him who approached his recruitment the way Meyer did.
"We have a father-son relationship basically," Shaw said. "I talked to him before he had his press conference, and he was letting me know basically it was still safe for me to attend Florida."
That was good news for Shaw.
"It couldn't have come at a better time for me because I am enrolling early," he said. "Right after this game, I am heading up to Gainesville for orientation on Jan. 4. We are all getting situated up there. I just left it in God's hands and it all worked out and I am 100 percent Gator."
If there was any doubt, Shaw showed up to the Under Armour team hotel Monday wearing an orange and blue Gators stocking cap and a Florida sweatshirt. He also said he was looking forward to talking up the Gators this week with uncommitted prospects, including four-star receiver Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee), who is set to announce this week.
"I am hoping that Chris Dunkley will be a Gator," Shaw said. "No doubt about it."
JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.