Shaw sticking to safety

FOX Sports NEXT caught up with USC redshirt junior Josh Shaw after Tuesday morning's voluntary players-only throwing session to get the latest on which position he'll play in the fall...

USC redshirt junior Josh Shaw played musical chairs in the Trojans' secondary in his first season with the team. The safety was moved to cornerback in the middle of the season in order to fill an ailing need and then back to safety for spring practices.

After raising concerns about the strength of the Trojans' corners during spring drills, USC head coach Lane Kiffin said there was a definite possibility Shaw would be moving back to corner for the 2013 season.

Shaw did not take reps at corner during spring drills and so far this summer during players-only sessions, he's been at safety. Shaw told FOX Sports NEXT after Tuesday morning's throwing session that, at least for now, safety is where he'll be playing this season.

"I've talked to [defensive coordinator Clancy] Pendergast on several occasions and he just told me - I asked him what to focus on for this offseason - and he told me I'm fine where I'm at," Shaw explained.

Shaw, 6-foot-1 190-pounds, doesn't anticipate he'll make any preseason or midseason moves to cornerback, but says he is taking a few after-workout reps there. "I'll stay on my toes and make sure I'm prepapred," he said. "I try to get work in at corner, too, doing drills. Just in case. It's always a possibility. I'll be ready."

The Florida transfer isn't just settling in at safety this summer, he's stepping up - by taking on a bigger leadership role in a position group full of underclassmen. "Pendergast and Kiffin, they really want me to take control of this defensive back group," Shaw explained. "Just lead by example and show them the right way.

"There's a lot of inexperienced guys back here, so me and Dion Bailey are trying to carry that torch."

Shaw says he spent the 2012 season learning all he could from cornerback Nickell Robey and safety T.J. McDonald - both now in the NFL - and that experience is now paying dividends, both in the development of his skills on the field and his leadership abilities. "I soaked everything those two did up like a sponge," Shaw said. "It's paying off right now."

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