"He has those things that you can't coach," South Central head coach Tim Carter said. "He's a very hard worker. He's a silent leader. He's a good kid on and off the field. I don't think he has ever had a penalty [in a football game].
"He's definitely a speedster. He runs a consistent 10.9 [100-meter dash] in track and it looks like he runs a 10.9 on the football field with pads because he just separates from people.
"He has ball skills out of the backfield. He's improving on his blocking skills. He's knowledgeable of the game. And he has done a great job developing – you've seen that growth since the ninth grade. He has great vision and he runs behind his pads."
As a freshman, Furlow immediately earned a spot on South Central's varsity roster. He was thrust into the starting lineup at running back for the first three games of that season while the starter nursed a preseason injury.
"It was a good opportunity for me to show what type of athlete I was," Furlow said. "Also, it allowed me to adjust to the game early."
For the remainder of the 2011 season, Furlow was a key reserve at both running back and linebacker.
The following season, South Central switched from a wing-T to a spread scheme similar to Larry Fedora's. Furlow served as the feature back in that system.
"We're a spread offense that still relies on the power running game," Carter said. "So [Furlow] is an inside the tackles running back."
After rushing for 1,054 yards and nine touchdowns (with a 9.3 average) as a sophomore, Furlow finished his junior campaign with 1,610 yards and 23 scores on 181 rushes. He has also returned kickoffs for touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.
Furlow reports offers from East Carolina, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Purdue, and Syracuse, while schools like NC State, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest have expressed significant interest.
Position wise, UNC is in the minority. Dan Disch, who serves as Furlow's primary recruiter, wants to convert him to cornerback.
"That's not necessarily what Shawn wants to do, but he's definitely not saying ‘No' to it," Carter said.
Furlow and Disch are regularly in contact either through phone calls, Twitter, or email.
After camping at UNC last summer, Furlow returned to Chapel Hill for games against Middle Tennessee and East Carolina.
"I enjoyed being there," Furlow said. "The team played hard. I enjoyed it all.
"They have great facilities down there. I really loved their indoor practice field. It's just a good campus atmosphere."
Furlow has also made visits to East Carolina and NC State. Those three in-state schools make up his favorites list.
"I like ECU's environment and Carolina's the same way – I like its environment," Furlow said. "But really, I just like being close to home."
Outside of football, Furlow is a member of South Central's track and field team, including the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams which both made the NCHSAA 4A State Track Meet a year ago. The 4x200 team brought home the championship. Furlow also participates in the 100- and 200-meter dashes with personal best times of 10.8 and 22.2 seconds, seconds, respectively…. Due to its proximity, Furlow grew up an East Carolina fan.