Connor Shaw doesn’t know what his next career will be or when it will start, but he admits he might be practicing for it Saturday in Irmo.
Shaw, South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback, will hold a football camp at the Irmo YMCA on Saturday. Like his three previous Midlands camps since leaving the Gamecocks, this one is sold out.
“I’m a coach at heart,” said Shaw, who won 27 games as South Carolina’s starter from 2010-2013. “I grew up in a coach’s family. I enjoy it and I’m good at instructing kids. It’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of camps that we scholarship in underprivileged kids that really don’t ever get a chance to do that, and you can just tell it lights their day up. I have kind of always envisioned that all my life, seeing myself as a coach, but we’ll see.
“I’d love to end up at my alma mater one day.”
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For the moment, Shaw is a quarterback with the Cleveland Browns. He is one of five Browns quarterbacks, along with Robert Griffin III, Austin Davis, Cody Kessler and Josh McCown. Davis and McCown each started multiple games with the Browns last year, and Griffin was brought in during the offseason with the expectation that he’ll compete for the starting job.
“We have five QBs so reps are rare, but I’m taking advantage of the reps I get,” said Shaw, who is expecting his second child with wife Molly in November. “It’s still a good room to be in.”
The Browns fired head coach Mike Pettine and hired Hue Jackson from the Cincinnati Bengals in the offseason, meaning a transition for all the players.
“We got rid of our personnel department, too. We pretty much scratched everyone who brought me there, but I stuck through OTAs with the new staff, and I think they have plans,” Shaw said. “We will see how it pans out in August. I’m a big fan of this staff. I really am. I understand why Cincinnati has had such success on offense now.”
One quarterback who is no longer in Cleveland but remains an acquaintance of Shaw is Johnny Manziel, the former first round draft pick who was jettisoned by the team amid concerns about his behavior.
“He’s OK as you can be I guess right now,” Shaw said. “I think he’s in good spirits. I mainly keep up with him on Snapchat. We talk back and forth a little bit. You can’t force someone to do something they don’t really love or really want to do. It’s as simple as that. I hope he finds whatever he wants to do. We really honestly don’t talk about ball.”
Shaw just returned from OTAs with the Browns and will return to Cleveland on July 25. Until then, he’ll take some downtime and hold camps like the one Saturday in Irmo, which will include former Coastal Carolina and NFL quarterback Tyler Thigpen, former Gamecocks Mike Matulis and Patrick Fish and local high school coaches.