Has USC made up ground with Joshua Shaw?

In most of the articles written about Joshua Shaw from Palmdale High, it was hard not to get the feeling he would end up at Ohio State or Florida. That's also how I felt after each phone conversation I had with Shaw. But after seeing him in the locker room after the USC/Oregon State game and after talking with him tonight, things may have changed.

Shaw said he was going to be a regular at USC games and he's been true to his word. He had his latest opportunity to speak to the USC coaches Saturday night after USC defeated Oregon State 42-36.

"On Saturday night, we were pretty much just talking about the game, the mistakes that were made and stuff like that," said Shaw. "They're USC, they can still get better and they need the guys to do it, and the guys to get better."

A few months ago Shaw said he wanted to end up at a school where he feels needed, not just wanted. We asked him if USC has made that case with him?

"Yes, they stressed to me that all four in the secondary are seniors and they will all be gone," said Shaw. "Of course, being USC, Pete Carroll said I will have a chance to compete no matter what. And that's from day one. They throw you in the fire right away and if you can hang, you can hang, if not, then we'll go from there."

Telling recruits they will have an opportunity to compete for playing time as a freshman is lip service for some coaches, but the proof is on the field with USC with the numerous freshmen who play each year.

"Exactly," said Shaw when asked if he can take to heart what Carroll says about competing as a true freshman because he plays so many every year. "A lot of coaches will tell that, it's recruiting, so you have to do your own research and find who is actually playing freshmen. Southern Cal is one of those programs that does it year in and year out."

Although he has said in the past he wouldn't take an official visit to USC, Shaw said the Trojan coaches are really pushing for him to take his final official visit there.

"Yeah, they are trying really, really hard to get me to take an official visit," Shaw said. "I've already taken four, but they want the last one. I've already booked one with Oklahoma for Nov. 14 and actually got my flight today, so that's something I'm going to have to talk about with family, coaches and see where I go from there. If I cancel my official visit to Oklahoma, I'll visit when USC plays Stanford and then I'll attend the USC/UCLA game."

It's a long ways until signing day in February, but Shaw provided a few reasons why he could sign a letter-of-intent for USC.

"USC is so close to home and on top of that, it's USC," said Shaw. "You go there you have a great chance to get to the next level, get good degree and play for a winning program. I'm pretty close with the coaches there and I feel like they are doing everything they can to get me."

It's obvious USC is doing all it can to convince Shaw it is the best spot for him, because he doesn't keep in contact with one coache on a weekly basis, he speaks to four.

"Since Sept. 1 I have been talking with USC every week," said Shaw. "We talk pretty often and right now Coach (Jeremy Bates) is calling me, and when he calls, I end up talking to Coach Carroll, Coach (Rocky) Seto and BC (Brennan Carroll). I talk to a lot of them."

We'll have an update in a couple of weeks to find out whether Joshua Shaw has decided to take an official visit to USC and cancel his trip to Norman.

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