Shaw Trying to Make Early Impact

The end of spring practice was the end of phase one of the transition from high school to college for a number of Gator freshmen including cornerback Joshua Shaw. Shaw was one of 11 guys who enrolled in January to get a head start on their collegiate careers and the 6-3 defender from Palmdale, Calif. used the opportunity to impress.

Joshua Shaw is one of several candidates for the corner job opposite Janoris Jenkins. He had a mixed day in the Orange and Blue Game that wrapped up spring drills, getting beaten in the end zone a couple of times but also picking off a pass and showing solid coverage most of the afternoon. He played an inordinate amount of time due to Janoris Jenkins, Jeremy Brown, Adrian Bushell and others sitting out the event for one reason or another.

I had the opportunity to speak at some length with Shaw afterwards along with some other assorted media guys.

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LV: Josh, did you expect to play that much?

JS: Well I knew that we were kind of down in numbers as far as corners I kind of expected that I would be getting a lot of reps.

LV: What was it like being out there and having Deonte catch that long one on you?

JS: I guess it was a great experience. I'm happy it happened now rather than later. All I can do is learn from this and go and watch film and see what I did wrong to try and improve.

LV: What do you think happened on the play?

JS: I was in great position, but I just didn't reach up for the ball. I tried to let it come to me and he got to it before I did. That's something I have to learn from and just attack the ball at the highest point.

LV: But on the second possession you got the interception. Talk about the pick.

JS: Oh that was nice. When the ball fell in my hands I was thinking score, but it didn't happen. There's a lot of speed out there but I tried.

MG: What was it like being out there in The Swamp?

JS: It was great. I know it wasn't 95,000 or anything, but I'm from the West Coast and we don't get stuff like that just for a spring game. 50,000 fans is kind of unheard of on the West Coast. It was a great atmosphere and I was amazed by it.

LV: How has the transition gone from first arriving here in January?

JS: At first it was pretty rocky, but each day I see myself progressing and getting better and better. Today I felt like I was there; I just didn't make enough plays.

LV: How hard are you going to have to work to go after that job opposite Janoris?

JS: Really hard. Starting Monday I just got to grind and keep going. Coach Meyer is always telling me Josh, just go so that's all I have to do.

LV: Do you think you can win that job?

JS: I hope so. I know it's up in the air right now. I know I'm going to do my part to try (for it) and hopefully things will be in good shape.

MG: How much do you think coming in now will help you in that effort?

JS: I'm so happy I came in here early, because if I had some in (during) the summer like some of the other guys will then (I'd be lost). For me coming in (during) the spring I was still lost and stuff and didn't know what to expect. I was out there thinking too much instead of playing, but now things are starting to slow down for me and I can just play football right now.

LV: What is Coach (Teryl) Austin like?

JS: He's a great mentor, a great person and a great coach. I've never been coached by someone who just loves you the way he does. I love Coach Austin. When you do something wrong he'll let you know, but when you do something good he's tell you, good job."

LV: Talk about what Janoris does in terms of helping bring you guys along.

JS: Janoris is great. He's going on his third year being a starting corner here at the University of Florida. I had a meeting with Coach Austin the other day and he asked me how much I was watching film and I said I was watching quite a bit. He said I want you, when you're watching film to watch Janoris. The plays that he does, he's a great guy to watch. On the sideline when I mess up he's the first guy to come up to me and tell me what I did wrong. He's a great mentor.

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Shaw was named a Parade All-American after his senior season of high school. He was actually an offensive star at Palmdale High School. Shaw ran for 921 yards and 14 TD in his senior season while also passing for 2,279 yards and 18 TD. He was a receiver/running back as a junior.

You might see Shaw on the Gator special teams. He blocked two field goals last season.

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