At 6 foot, 7 inches tall and weighing just over 300 pounds, Shrive has the size to make an impact. But with reported 5.1/40 speed and a solid multi-sport background, he's got the athletic versatility as well.
It's no wonder Nebraska offered him, as have 31 other schools as of last week. But it isn't the glitz and glamour that comes with this insane amount of offers that Shrive appreciates. It's the down-home attitudes of coaches he really enjoys as he ponders where he's going to go to college. "I want a coach like me – someone who works hard and has a blue collar attitude," Shrive said. "I don't get into all the other stuff that goes with it. The attention is ok, but my focus is on my team and I think coaches like me appreciate that more."
One of those coaches is first-year Husker head-coach Bo Pelini. A native of Ohio, Pelini's Youngstown, Ohio background has deep roots in the kind of attitude which got Pelini where he is now and moves Shrive in the same positive direction. But were it not for the commitment to Nebraska of teammate, linebacker prospect Shawn Bodtman, Eric said he wouldn't' know as much. "When he got back from his visit, he was just pumped about it and couldn't stop talking about the whole thing," he said. "Everything he said abot coach Pelini and everyone there is about how it's blue collar, a lot like people around here."
Shrive even said that were it not for other plans he had made prior to Bodtman's visit in late-April, he would have gone on the visit with him. But he figures that he's going to make it there as it is. "My parents have been really good about getting me to all of these places which have offered, so I can get a good feel for everything there," Shrive said of his unofficial visits, which now surpasses 10. "It's important to know as much about them, because I only have five official visits and I have a lot more than five teams to look at."
As you would guess, Shrive says of trying to pin down any favorites, that he hasn't done that as of yet. But he goes even further, saying that come July or a bit later, the last thing he'll be thinking about is recruiting. "It's about my team and my final year playing here. That's what means more to me than anything right now," he said. "So, I am trying to get as much of this stuff out of the way now, so it's not a distraction when the season comes.
"Actually, it won't be. I won't let it."
Also as expected, there is no timeframe on his decision, that eventual choice perhaps coming as late as January or even into early February before Signing Day. But even with everything that Shrive has learned about all the schools he's visited thus far, there as one thing he knew about Nebraska even before his teammate decided to voice his intention to play for the big red. "It's a big tradition. It's college football there and not much else," he said. "They have a history of winning and I'm going to be really interested to see what that team looks like in coach Pelini's first year."
With all the almost scripted answers which Shrive gives as a byproduct of simply how many interviews he's done, you might get this feeling that it's all ho-hum to him. Well yeah, there is that, but when this gargantuan prep-star starts talking football, that's when scripted becomes instinctive. In fact just ask him what goes through his mind when he steps across the white line.
"I'll rip your head off," he said.