Raider fan looking at the Huskers

Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan has probably heard over the last few years, that kids followed him when he was with the Raiders. Of course, much of that has to do with the fact that Nebraska has invaded California for a lot of its recent prep talent. Well, the old gig is still getting the third year coach recognized and one running back wouldn't mind seeing his west coast style work in Nebraska.

You'd think that Bill Callahan's last season with the Raiders might have left a slightly bad impression with fans, especially those of the Raiders. You know, that whole dumbest team in America comment, which seemed to precipitate the eventual departure of the current Husker head coach.

Stockton, California running back Curtis Shaw remembers Callahan's stint with the Raiders, remembering quite fondly the year before that, when he led the Raiders to the Super Bowl. And he did it with an offense Shaw instantly liked.

"That's the kind of offense I would like to play in, because you don't pass to much that the running game isn't that big of a deal, and you don't run too much, that is all teams prepare for," Shaw said. "There's good balance and that's the kind of offense I like."

A good balance of offense for a very balanced back, Shaw coming off a 1,600+ yard rushing performance as a junior, where he 21 touchdowns, and he threw in 102 yards receiving as well. The balance really comes in, though, when you look at his versatility physically, Shaw standing 6 foot and around 190 pounds, running a reported 4.5/40, but he's also got a mammoth 35 inch vertical.

Just looking at that, you can see how much more balanced he could be, from both a running and receiving standpoint.

What Shaw believes is his biggest asset, though, isn't so much what he can do, but more with what he can see, which he would tell you is a lot. "My vision is definitely my strength," he said. "I think I am very aware of the entire field, so I can make my adjustments really quickly during a play."

The numbers Curtis put up last year are pretty darn good, no matter what grade you are and no matter your size. For Shaw, however, he thinks he's just scratched the surface. With a good team back this year, and a lot more experience under his belt, Curtis is ready to turn his game up a few notches for his final year of prep ball.

"I'm going for over 2,000 yards and 40 touchdowns," Shaw said. "The more I have gained experience, the more natural the game has become for me. I don't even think about running anymore. I just do it and I am ready to have a big year."

If Shaw does accomplish his goals, he'll become more popular than he already is. Sporting double-digit offers, Shaw's name has been rising up the charts steadily, of the more coveted backs on the west coast.

Of course, with recruiting nowadays, Shaw sees that you don't need a whole lot of offers in order to get a whole lot of attention. "Washington text messages me like almost every single day," Curtis said of the Huskies. "Michigan has been picking things up too. The recruiting is fun and I am enjoying it, but it makes you wonder just what it's going to be like later on."

That has been a trend of sorts this year, as many recruits, some of the best in the country, have opted to make an early decision, not wanting to extend this recruiting circus any longer than they have to. For Curtis, though, it's not the attention which will make him figure out his school anytime soon. It's about knowing where you want to go, of course, something he says he isn't even close to figuring out.

He just knows what he's looking for from a school.

"Good schooling and a good opportunity to play early – those are the biggest things on my list," Curtis said. "I want to see a place where I fit in, but they have to have great academics and it has to be a team I like and I feel I fit well in what they do."

Nebraska is one of those teams Shaw is looking at, but he'll be straightforward as to why. No, sorry Husker fans, it's not the five national titles, the 60-3 record in a five year period during the 90s and it has nothing to do with the stadium sellouts since 1962. It has to do with the Raiders and their former coach.

"I like coach Callahan. I have actually talked to him a couple of times," Shaw said. "I really liked his offense, but he's a nice guy and I really like what he's doing over there at Nebraska."

That basically summarizes what Shaw knows about Nebraska, stating that about the only other thing he knew about it was that it was in the central part of the country.

But that's what the off-season is for, and out of the many schools he's trying to learn about, Nebraska does make the list. "It's going to be a long process for me, because I need to know a lot about where I might go," Curtis said. "Nebraska will be one of those places I will look into and figure out for myself how it might fit me and what I do."

"I'm looking at everyone like that right now and location doesn't mean a thing. I am just looking at the best place for me."

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