AUSTIN, Texas – Johnny Shaw won’t soon forget the moment when he received his scholarship offer from Texas on Sunday, or the feelings that offer elicited. It was all just too surreal.
“I’ve been dreaming for this day,” Shaw said. “I haven’t been looking for it -- I’ve been dreaming it. When I got the offer, my heart just dropped. I felt like the moment stopped, like the hands of time just stopped.”
From there, the Center (Texas) safety’s choice was an easy one. Right after Texas camp wrapped up on Sunday afternoon, Shaw announced that he was officially flipping from TCU to the Longhorns.
He was the second of three pledges during UT’s minicamp, followed quickly by the commitment of Buda (Texas) Hayes offensive tackle Connor Lanfear. That puts Texas at seven early commits for its 2015 class.
Shaw had originally committed to TCU on May 18 during a visit. Back then, he thought it was a no-brainer. The Horned Frogs coaching staff rolled out the red carpet for him and made Shaw their one and only visitor that Saturday.
But no matter what, Shaw was always going to wait for Texas.
“I’m picking Texas because they’re the first team on my list,” Shaw said. “I’ve been liking them ever since I was little. I just like the Longhorns.”
Center coach Kevin Goodwin attended the UT camp with Shaw and wasn’t the least bit surprised that Shaw flipped. Ever since Shaw attended Texas sophomore day, he’d been fired up about the possibility of playing his college ball in Austin.
According to Goodwin, Texas is getting an unusual physical talent in the 6-foot-2, 188-pound defensive back.
"The special thing about Johnny is, in a day of finesse ball, he's a hitter," Goodwin said. He's one of those guys who comes [up] and strikes you. That's what makes him special. He's big, he likes to strike and he has the ability to get back there and intercept the ball at 50 yards as well."
Shaw is Texas' second defensive back pledge for 2015 along with Jalen Campbell (Corpus Christi, Texas/Flour Bluff). Lufkin (Texas) athlete Keke Coutee also committed to Texas on Sunday and could end up in the secondary, though he played receiver during the camp.
Goodwin had warned Shaw prior to their sophomore day visit that he might not get an offer that day. He knew more touted sophomore safeties Deionte Thompson (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) and Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) might be in attendance and be higher on Texas’ board. He preached patience.
And there’s no denying Shaw set out to make a statement at camp. He wanted an offer, and he wanted to earn it.
“I proved that I’m faster and more physical than most of the DBs here,” Shaw said.
As he made his way out of the Texas indoor practice facility on Sunday, Shaw couldn’t stop smiling.
He still couldn’t believe he’d just committed to Texas. This was his plan going into the day, yes, but going home a future Longhorn was still just a tad hard to handle.
“Especially for a sophomore, man ... it feels like a dream,” he said. “A real good dream.”