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National Signing Day: Shaw ready for the challenge at Tech

POSTED: February 18, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

Flowery Branch senior Jaybo Shaw, dressed in Georgia Tech garb, signed his national letter of intent Wednesday along with 27 other area athletes.

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Jaybo Shaw’s motivational tools were never far away during his prolific high school football career at Flowery Branch.

The Falcons’ four-year starting quarterback always saw his reason to succeed right in his locker.

"It said, ‘Be a Division I football player,’" Shaw said. "It was just a reminder to myself."

The Times’ 2006 Area Football Player of the Year made that dream come true Wednesday when he signed his letter of intent to play college football at Georgia Tech.

Shaw celebrated signing day with a whirlwind of activity including signing his letter of intent early in the morning, a signing celebration at Flowery Branch, followed by a convening of area college signees later in the afternoon at Longstreet Cafe in Gainesville.

He sported his new school colors Wednesday by wearing a Yellow Jackets tie and hat for the flurry of photos that were taken throughout the day.

Even though Shaw was flattered with being recruited by different colleges, he’s glad that the entire process is over. He enjoyed the letters. He even tolerated the constant barrage of phone calls from recruiting services.

But it’s most rewarding for this soon-to-be Yellow Jacket to know his future is set.

"I couldn’t ask for better," Shaw said. "I’m very excited to be going to Georgia Tech."

Shaw, who finished his high school career with 9,350 passing yards and 127 total touchdowns, was just as firm in his drive to play quarterback in college, despite the fact that schools like Clemson, Air Force and South Florida wanted the Falcons’ signal-caller to be either a slot receiver or kick returner with his 4.49 second speed in the 40-yard dash.

Even Georgia Tech recruited Shaw as a receiver before former Navy coach Paul Johnson took the helm with the Yellow Jackets.

With a new coach at Georgia Tech, Shaw is in the race for the starting job at quarterback with sophomore Josh Nesbitt. Yellow Jackets’ incumbent starter Taylor Bennett made the decision Wednesday to transfer.

Shaw told Johnson he wants to be his first quarterback at Georgia Tech to beat Georgia.

"I know that caused a lot of talk when I said that," Shaw said. "But I have to believe that I can beat Georgia or Florida State to be able to compete.

"I’m so excited to play football in the ACC and the speed of the game."

Shaw is now already thinking about June 16.

That is the day he reports to work with the Georgia Tech football team for summer conditioning on the flats. And now that the signing day is over, he’s focused on his task of getting bigger and stronger while utilizing a weight-training program given to him by his college.

Shaw has already seen the results of his four-day-a-week workout schedule at Competitive Edge Sports in Gwinnett County.

Shaw says he’s added 15 pounds of muscle to his frame and now weighs 190 pounds. He wants to get closer to 200 pounds before summer without sacrificing any speed.

"I’ve lived in the weight room," Shaw said. "I can’t leave anything to chance and have the next guy work harder than I am."

Now that Shaw is about to be out from under the wing of his father, and Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw, on the field he still expects his father to be the first person he turns to after a game.

"I know after the game on Saturday night, I’ll call my dad first thing to talk about what I can do better."



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