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January 10, 2012

Shaw speaks about transfer



Palmdale (Calif.) cornerback Joshua Shaw is home again.

The redshirt freshman transfer from the University of Florida left home in 2010 as a four-star recruit only to find his way back to Southern California this week. His return to the West Coast is bitter sweet.

Shaw, who played in 10 games as a safety for the Gators last season, was originally called back to Palmdale because of the health of his ailing grandfather.

"The week we played Furman, my pops called me and told me how sick my grandfather was," said Shaw. "He was very emotional on the phone, so I knew it was serious because he doesn't usually get like that.

"I walked into Coach [Will] Muschamp's office and told him what was going on. The first thing he said was, 'Go home.' They got me a flight out that night and came home. I missed the game that week, but flew home right after.

"My mom called Coach Muschamp and told him that my family really needed me back home. Seeing me get back on the plan was hard for her because my dad is also going to have reconstructive surgery soon on his knee, and he's working two jobs.

"He's helping out with my grandparents house and his own house, so if he can't work, it really affects the family. It means we could end up losing our house. So I had to come home and help out with the family business in the meantime. That's all I've been doing since I came home in December."

When it became apparent that Shaw would have to help out in the family business, his high school head coach, Jeff Williams, began using his contacts to reach out to potential college options.

"Once I got released, I started talking to coach Williams and I mentioned that Coach [James] Cregg recruited me at Tennessee when I was in high school," said Shaw. "I knew he was at USC, so I got in contact with him through my high school coaches.

"This was during the recruiting dead period, so we had to keep calling him. They have limited scholarships, so that was the first thing I had to ask about. Coach Cregg said they could work it out, and I told him I'd love to be a part of the family."

That was before the Trojans garnered the commitment of Pierce College four-star safety Gerald Bowman.

"I was like, 'Oh, how many defensive backs are they bringing in exactly,'" said Shaw. "After that, I went to plan B, which was UCLA. I called Coach Cregg and told him I was going to UCLA, but he wasn't taking no for an answer.

"The thing is, I probably would have ended up at UCLA, but they don't start school until April because they're on the quarter system. USC can get me into school now and my mom is all about academics. She didn't want me out of school for three or four months.

"After speaking to the USC staff, I felt that was the best place for me. Initially, that's where I wanted to go in the first place, so it worked out."

Shaw has 22 tackles last season for Florida, starting three games as a free safety. At USC, he could play cornerback or safety depending on where the Trojans need him the most going into spring football.

"They told me they have an immediate need in the secondary, and if I get a hardship, it would give them immediate help at either corner or safety," said Shaw. "I'm just coming in to work hard and to be a good teammate.

"If I had to pick, I'd play corner, but I'll play wherever they need me to play. First and foremost, I'm coming in to be a team player. With all of the success they had last year, they have some playmakers on that team and I'm sure they're great leaders.

"I'm going to come in, shut my mouth and just work hard. I'll prove to the guys that I really want to be there and be a part of the family."

Shaw plans on enrolling at USC this week, but has until Jan. 27 to enroll for the spring semester. Shaw will apply for a hardship waiver once he gets enrolled.

"Hopefully I'll enroll this Thursday or maybe Friday at the latest," said Shaw. "I can't start the process of getting a waiver from the NCAA until I'm enrolled in school. Later this week or next week USC will start that process and we'll go from there."

USCFootball.com will continue to bring you the latest on Joshua Shaw's transfer to USC throughout the week.



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