Being a representative of USC at the Army Bowl is something that he takes very seriously. "I want to just live up to SC and live up to competing and show the desire, dedication and passion that I have for this game," said Shoemate. "Everybody wants to come out here and show the nation that the Army Bowl is legit and that we are going to represent those that came before us in this prestigious bowl."
Along with being able to represent the Trojans, Shoemate has also looked forward to getting to know his future teammates. "It's always great seeing the guys that I will be competing with for the next four years," Shoemate said. "It's also great being able to come out and exchange numbers and build that relationship half a year early."
Shoemate and his fellow USC recruits got a chance to sneak away from Army Bowl activities and catch some of the Trojans 49-17 win over Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Needless to say Shoemate enjoyed every second of it. "Oh man. I caught bits and pieces of it but it seemed like every time I sat down I was watching the best play of the game because every time I sat down there was some phenomenal play that was occurring," Shoemate explained. "So I was very pleased with the performance."
Shoemate is a very versatile player that played several positions for Head Coach Troy Thomas at Servite, but the USC coaches see Shoemate as a wide receiver. When asked how he sees himself being used in the USC offense Shoemate said, "As of right now a slot receiver like the Steve Smith type."
Shoemate said he chose USC because he likes the coaching staff and loves the way the Trojans are always competing. "It's very serious. It's strictly business when you get on the field and you take care of your business," Shoemate said of the Trojans' practices.
While Pete Carroll and the USC coaching staff was the deciding factor, Shoemate has imagined playing at USC with his teammate and best friend Matt Kalil for quite some time.
"It started with Ryan Kalil and Chris Galippo. Then I committed my sophomore year right after Galippo committed. So I kind of knew where I was going to go probably since ninth grade," admitted Shoemate. "I have been family with the Kalil's and the Galippo's since I was nine years old, and we have been best friends ever since, so it was a given."
DJ Shoemate takes the handoff from Dayne Crist at the Army All-American Bowl.