SoCal Standout Picks Idaho

Looking for an athlete that can score? How ‘bout one that is versatile enough to lead the league in receiving yards, score 19 touchdowns along the way, and be named an All-CIF selection at DEFENSIVE BACK (due in part to snagging 7 picks on the season)? Then look no further than Colony 2-way starter MAURICE SHAW. He helped lead his team to a 12-2 record, and picked Idaho over an offer from UNLV.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was compiled from several sources, including conversations with future Vandal Maurice Shaw.

PLAYER PROFILE: Maurice Shaw, 6-3, 187, WR/DB/ATH

As has been stated in numerous articles on this site and other media outlets covering Idaho last season, Idaho's most glaring needs in 2007 are two-fold. First, the Vandals must find a sure-handed wide receiver, and preferably two or four. The depth chart certainly has talent, but with senior Wendell Octave graduating a 'go to' receiver must emerge. Second, the team – although demonstrating a dramatic improvement in overall team speed last season – still needs to recruit athletes with jets.

This recruiting season Idaho's new coaching staff, under the direction of first year head coach Robb Akey, is definitely putting a premium on recruiting athletes to fill both needs. With some uncertainty regarding who will be returning among the receiver ranks from a season ago, it is very possible that several new receiver recruits could see immediate playing time this fall…if not at receiver, then most likely on special teams.

Among collegiate programs there is a premium put on tall, strong receivers who can work the middle of a field or pose a legitimate downfield threat. Athletes who can fulfill both needs are prized. Last week Idaho received a verbal commitment from a gem in Colony High School product Maurice Shaw. Not only was Shaw part of a powerful football team – the Colony Titans finished with a final 12-2 record and CIF Championship – he was a key contributor on both sides of the ball. The Titans outscored League foes by over 41 points per game.

His efforts got him noticed.

Defensively Shaw earned most of his post-season honors from his position as the team's starting safety. Named to the prestigious All-CIF Southern Section Team (Central Division) as a defensive back, he led the Mt. Baldy League with SEVEN interceptions on the season (including one returned for a touchdown to seal a first-round 14-6 playoff victory), and recorded 35 tackles on the year (23 solo). For good measure, he also recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. In addition to earning All-CIF honors, he was named a First Team All-Inland Valley selection, and a First Team All-Mt. Baldy selection, all at defensive back.

Offensively Shaw was a scoring machine. He finished second in the Mt. Baldy League in scoring this season with 114 points on the year, finishing behind teammate Omar Bolden, a runningback who scored 160 points. Not only did Shaw end the season as the League leader in receiving yards on the season (1,036), he recorded an eye-popping 14 touchdowns through the air in the process. Both marks were tops in the league this season. Overall, he averaged 79.7 receiving yards per game, with a long of 82 yards.

If all that wasn't enough, he returned 5 punts for 62 yards in a game against Cajon High School, which Colony won 14-6. Mid-way through the season, Shaw returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in a game Colony won in a 55-0 route.

A prototypical wide receiver, he's a big target and was his team's primary deep threat. Exactly the combination most college teams are looking for in an athlete.

On the weekend of January 19th, Maurice Shaw made an official visit to the University of Idaho campus. Shaw had given a soft verbal to UNLV after receiving an offer from the Rebels earlier, as well as interest from Nevada, Washington and San Jose State. Recruited to Idaho by fifth year defensive assistant Johnny Nansen and head coach Robb Akey, Shaw didn't commit to the Vandals on the trip. Rather, he made his verbal commitment to Idaho when he was visited at home by Idaho coaches the following Monday.

There are no plans for Shaw to redshirt this fall either. "I've committed to play right away," he told recently.

With an entirely new offensive coaching staff – under the direction of veteran Offensive Coordinator Steve Axeman who comes to the Idaho program from Montana and was considering an offer to become OC at UNLV before joining Akey's staff – virtually every position will be open this spring, summer and fall. If Shaw doesn't see immediate playing time at wide receiver, he will most certainly get his shot on special teams.

In a story written by Brandon Huffman of, Colony coach John Brown said, "He can play on either side of the ball. He's a quiet kid but he makes plays."

It will be difficult to keep an athlete with his talent and potential off the field.

Shaw told Scout that he expects to major in Business Administration this fall at Idaho. Asked what his general opinions of the University of Idaho campus were, Shaw said, "I love it. It's a college town. The coaches are cool. The players are cool. Everybody's cool. It's smaller than what I am used to, but I like it."

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