With Tre Mason, Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne all juniors this season, the Tigers will be looking to continue to restock talent for coach Tim Horton moving forward. One of the players that could fit into their plans is Hoover standout Bradrick Shaw.
A physical back at 6-1, 201, Shaw is the feature runner for the 10-0 Bucs heading into the Class 6A playoffs. Already with 17 rushing touchdowns on the season despite rarely playing in the second half of games, Shaw finished off the regular season in style last week with three touchdowns in a win over Opelika.
"It feels great," Shaw said. "The entire season we have worked very hard. We just went out and wanted to end things off right by finishing strong."
Playing more of a reserve role last season as the Bucs won the state title on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium over those same Opelika Bulldogs, Shaw is now the man and loving the role he worked so hard to earn.
"I think my pad level has gotten much better," Shaw says. "I have also improved my vision. I can see the holes better.
"It's just great," he adds of being the first-team guy. "Hard work has definitely paid off for me. I hit the weight room hard in the offseason and have been working hard this year. It's showing up on the field."
Already with an early offer from Mississippi State and hearing a lot from Georgia, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, Shaw is taking a long look at several teams including Auburn. A visitor for a summer camp where he worked closely with Auburn running back coach Tim Horton, Shaw was back for the Mississippi State game earlier this season and said he likes everything about the Tigers at the moment.
"It's a great start for them," the 6-1, 201 Shaw says. "It's just a great atmosphere down there. Coach Gus Malzahn is a great coach. He's getting the boys back right like they should be. Last year wasn't a good year for them, but they are starting to pick it up.
"I like Auburn a lot," he adds. "Gus Malzahn is a real cool guy. I have been able to talk to him every time I have gone down there. I also like the running back coach (Tim Horton). He's real cool. He has looked at my highlight tape already. An offer would mean a lot. I like it down there."
Hoover puts its perfect record on the line Friday night as the Bucs take on Huntsville (6-4) and talented running back Deonte Moore. Shaw said this is the time of year players live for and they can't wait to get it started.
"It's fun," Shaw says. "It's crunch time. We just have to keep going. It's like the fourth quarter for us. We just have to finish strong and play great in the playoffs."