He didn’t need a cap to protect his bald dome, although he donned a pair of sunglasses for the glare.
Not that anybody would have minded if he’d have asked to wear his visored helmet one more time.
“I’m just checking out former teammates,” South Carolina career winningest quarterback Connor Shaw said on Wednesday. “I wanted to get back here and support them, and any excuse to come back to Willy B is always good. Me and this field were mutually beneficial.”
Shaw never lost at Williams-Brice, and he was hoping some of the magic would return to the field as he once again stepped onto the turf. As a guest at USC’s Pro Day, he was around to answer any questions they might have and wish them well as they attempt to head to the NFL.
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As they used to when he was calling the signals, plenty of former teammates gathered around him, many also continuing pro careers. Jamon Meredith, Kelcy Quarles, Corey Robinson, Tori Gurley, Bruce Ellington, Damiere Byrd and Jadeveon Clowney attended.
Shaw heads back to Cleveland this weekend, aiming to get back in the quarterback carousel. A ligament injury to his right thumb nixed his entire 2015 season, but the Browns kept him on the squad.
After starting one game in 2014, Shaw hopes to again challenge for the job. The Browns cut oft-troublesome Johnny Manziel but added Robert Griffin III, so Shaw and RG3 will battle Austin Davis and Josh McCown for the role.
“The thumb feels great. I’ve been training throughout the season and offseason. My body feels good,” Shaw said. “I’ve got calls from coach Hue (Jackson) and the personnel department, they’re open for competition, so I’m no stranger to that.”
Offensive tackle Corey Robinson played in one game in his rookie season in Detroit and has been training in Charlotte since the season ended. “It went all right,” Robinson said. “Definitely learned a lot, and looking to learn some more this year. I just need to get out there on the field, get my feet wet.”
Jamon Meredith finished his seventh season and is currently a free agent after spending last year with Tennessee but playing for eight teams in his career. Tori Gurley, who bounced from NFL practice squad to practice squad, getting in three games with the Browns in 2013, finally found a home with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
Gurley tied for the CFL lead with 10 touchdowns last year and caught 58 balls for 791 yards. “I was always running clear-out routes in the NFL. I like having the ball in my hands,” he said. “I got one more year in Canada and then we’ll see how it goes.”
Quarles is back with Indianapolis and will leave for NFL camp next month. Like Clowney, Quarles recently became a father.
“It’s amazing. After working out and sweating and you come in the house, daughter’s running right in your arms,” Quarles said. “It’s a blessing. It makes you realize life is not about you anymore.”
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