"West Virginia is definitely up there on my list of interest," said Shanahan after making a trip to the Mountaineers' rising senior camp. "I thought I did pretty well at the camp. I caught the ball well, and that's one of my strengths. I stay with the ball well, and I catch it with my hands. That's one of my strong points."
To say Shanahan did well is something of an understatement. The rangy (6-5) receiver hauled in passes from all angles during the one-day session, despite his unfamiliarity with some of the drills.
"The gauntlet drill (where QBs throw passes at receivers from opposite sides at ten yard intervals) was something I had never done before," he said. "I've never caught the ball off the jugs gun either. But I stayed with it and made some plays."
Shanahan also showed his ability in one-on-ones and skeleton passing sessions, making catchers over shorter defenders and using his height to make himself a target for quarterbacks. His 6-5 frame makes him easier to spot on the middle of the field, and also gives him an advantage on jump balls on deep routes. Despite an impressive array of pass catchers in the camp, Shanahan held his own and was a player that stood out over the entire day.
Shanahan's basketball skills also translate to the football field. His ball handling ability on the hardwood show up in the way he catches the pigskin, and his jumping and body control are often on display when he goes after passes.
Making Shanahan's play all the more impressive is the fact that he's not solely concentrating on football this summer. As he ponders his football/basketball decision, he is also playing in several AAU hoop events.
"We're playing in the Jamfest at West Virginia in July, and we're also going to a tournament in Orlando," Shanahan said. "I'm definitely using the summer to explore football vs. basketball, and try to figure out which one I want to play in college."
That choice is going to be a difficult one, as Shanahan excels in both sports. The pick will likely come down to which one he enjoys playing more.
"I'm not sure on which one I am better in," said Shanahan when asked if that factor might help him make his choice. "It's going to be a tough decision."
Shanahan will have certainly seen enough of West Virginia to help tip him in the Mountaineers' direction if he makes football his choice. He has visited on junior day and the rising senior camp, and has also been down "a couple of other times". His latest camp experience was a good one.
"The coaches talked with us a lot about going hard on every play and competing hard," he said. "And I knew a few of the players that were there. Going up against them was a little different, but it was a good experience. There was a lot of good competition there."
Shanahan hasn't set a specific date for his decision, but did say that he wants to make it prior to the start of his senior year.