Franklin County player commits to W. Va.

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 28, 2008

MEADVILLE— With National Signing Day less than two weeks away, Franklin County native and Co-Lin defensive tackle D.J. Shaw has committed to nationally ranked West Virginia.

Shaw verbally committed Thursday morning after receiving an official offer from the Mountaineers earlier last week.

West Virginia finished sixth in the nation last season, concluding with a 48-28 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3. Shaw plans to sign with the Moutaineers on National Signing Day, Feb. 6.

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“I was kind of shocked when they first offered,” Shaw said. “I’ve been hearing from a lot of smaller schools and then all of sudden they came in and offered me. I couldn’t pass up the chance playing for a top 10 ranked school that’s always in the hunt for a National Championship.”

The 6 foot, 2 inches, 285-pound Shaw played in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star game in December.

“(West Virginia) got some tape on him and liked what they saw,” Co-Lin head football coach Glenn Davis said. “He’s tickled to death about going there and we’re excited for him too. His best football is ahead of him.”

Shaw, a Bude native, graduated from Franklin County High School in 2006.

Despite receiving strong interest from several programs out of high school, Shaw signed with Co-Lin.

“Coming out of high school, my goal was to go Division I,” said Shaw. “A lot of schools talked to me and watched me play in high school. I felt that going to Co-Lin would help me in the long run. And sure enough it did.”

Before receiving an official offer from West Virginia, Shaw entertained scholarship pledges from Ohio University, Northern Illinois, Southeastern Louisiana, Northwestern State (La.) and Jackson State. Several other schools such as Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Miami (Fla.), Memphis and Louisiana-Lafayette showed interest as well.

Shaw is not the only Co-Lin player moving up to the Division I ranks. Wesson native Phillip Freeman, a two-year starter on the Wolves offensive line, committed to Mississippi State last month, as did defensive end Raven Gray with Auburn and tight end Jonathan Massey wih USM.

Defensive backs Troy Giddens and Darren Dampier also committed last month, Giddens to Louisiana-Monroe and Dampier to North Alabama.

Offensive lineman Edward Prince recently committed to Kansas State, while linebacker Tray Hardaway has verbally pledged to attend New Mexico.