Rivals.com - Five-Star Spotlight: Travis Shaw
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Five-Star Spotlight: Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw
Travis Shaw (Rivals.com)

Only a handful of the nation's best high school football players finish the cycle out with five-star rankings. As Rivals.com begins to evaluate the top talent in the class of 2022, the national analyst team has selected 10 rising juniors to debut as five-star prospects.

Today's five-star spotlight is on Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley defensive tackle Travis Shaw.

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CLASS OF 2022 TOP 100: Monday's release | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

FIVE-STAR SPOTLIGHT: Denver Harris | Julian Armella | Luther Burden | Jaheim Singletary | Walter Nolen | Kam Dewberry | Shawn Murphy

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

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PROGRAMS TO WATCH

North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Alabama are in the mix for Shaw. These aren’t the only programs to keep an eye on but they are the most likely to remain contenders in his recruitment for the long haul. Expect most of Shaw’s recruitment to revolve around North Carolina, Clemson, and Georgia.

The Tar Heels are doing a great job recruiting top in-state prospects and they’ve been laying the groundwork with Shaw for a few years. He’s already been on campus a couple times and did make it there once this year.

Clemson is all over Shaw. Ace recruiter and defensive line coach Todd Bates has made Shaw a priority and the Tigers aren’t going away anytime soon. On top of that, Shaw is very close with former Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader. Shaw goes to the same high school Reader did and he looks up to the current NFL defensive tackle.

Georgia is in a great spot with Shaw because he already has a very good relationship with defensive line coach Tray Scott. Kirby Smart has made frequent visits to Shaw’s school via helicopter and is clearly working hard to gain his focus.

Tennessee was going to get a visit in March but it had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and recruiting dead period. Shaw did manage to visit South Carolina this year as the Gamecocks try to continue to build on their already talented defensive line. Oklahoma and Alabama are in touch but many more teams will be involved in Shaw’s recruitment before all is said and done.

ANALYST'S TAKE

They don’t make many defensive linemen like Shaw and that’s obvious given his lofty initial ranking. At 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, Shaw is taller than former five-star and Tar Heel State native Dexter Lawrence as a high school prospect and moves just as well. Shaw is still raw from a technical aspect but his quickness, motor and overall athleticism are truly exceptional. Even though he is already 325 pounds, conditioning isn’t a major issue for Shaw and the tape says as much.

Shaw is the type of defensive tackle that makes life easier for the players around him. Other defensive linemen are freed up in 1-on-1 matchups and linebackers are free to chase down the ball carrier because offensive linemen are busy double- and triple-teaming Shaw to keep him out of the backfield. Expect Shaw to continue to refine his hand techniques and focus on decreasing his body fat percentage.

ODDS AND ENDS

Shaw is an AAU basketball player in the offseason, if you couldn’t have guessed by watching his film. He credits basketball with helping his conditioning, footwork and quickness. Shaw is very focused on picking a school that will help him excel in life after football and help him give back to his community.

He has a particular interest in lending medical assistance to those in need. Shaw, who turns 16 in July, used to play quarterback in youth football and can thrown the ball 65 yards in the air, according to his coach. Last season Shaw was credited with 110 tackles, 12 sacks, seven forced fumbles and three rushing touchdowns.