The team’s leading passer, rusher, receiver and most of the top-notch defense is back. The coaching staff remains largely unchanged and the goal for the Bucs does as well.
Win another one.
If that is to happen, as the team moves to Alabama’s new 7A classification, it will again have plenty to do with the steadiness of running back Bradrick Shaw. Heading into his senior season, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is among the most relied-upon backs in the state, and he has several big-time scholarship offers to show for it.
But after a busy summer, he’s not quite ready to end the process like rising-senior teammates Christian Bell (Alabama), Darrell Williams (Auburn) and Justin Johnson (Mississippi State) have. Shaw’s visit plans have been altered this summer for a more personal touch, too.
“When it’s a group, because they’re all committed now, it’s more about fun,” he said. “But when I’m by myself or with family, it’s more about business. I still have fun, though.”
The three-star camped at Mississippi State, where he is most familiar, and checked out South Carolina and Vanderbilt of late. The Bulldogs took a pair of running backs last week in a historic eight-player haul, however.
“Coach (Steve) Spurrier is a real cool coach, I toured for two days, and I really enjoyed it,” Shaw said. “It was my first time there. The stadium was off campus, so that was interesting. They wanted me to commit, but I didn’t think the timing was right. I still want to weight my options.
“I still love Vandy every time I go up there. Coach (Derek) Mason is a great coach, and I think they’re going to do great things this year. Coach (Charles) Bankins is a real cool coach, I just like being up there.”
The SEC isn’t the only conference with a current shot at one of Alabama’s best. A pair of Big Ten schools are jockeying for position to try and get him on campus as soon as possible.
“Wisconsin and Minnesota are coming into the mix, too,” he said. “They’re trying to get me on campus and both teams want me there before the summer ends. I plan on at least taking an official visit to one of those schools.”
With the Big Ten visits not likely until the fall, the numbers game playing out at the SEC schools and the season approaching, Shaw admits that the process isn’t one he’s going to end just for the sake of being on someone’s commitment list.
Like most Hoover players under Josh Niblett, a commitment will mean plenty.
“I don’t want to be one of those guys that plays with everybody,” he said. “When I make my decision, that’s going to be my decision.”
Scout.com currently tabs Shaw as the No. 64 running back in the class of 2015.