2011 Countdown: #30 Michael Shaw

2011 Countdown: #30 Michael Shaw

August 1, 2011
Michael Shaw

Name: Michael Shaw
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 187 lbs.
High school: Trotwood-Madison High School in Trotwood, OH
Position: Running back
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #20
Last year: I ranked Shaw #30 and said he would gain 500 yards as the backup superback.  He had 75 carries for 402 yards and 9 touchdowns.  He also caught 10 passes for 75 yards.

Since I started the countdown prior to the 2009 season, Shaw has been #29, #30, and now #30 again.  He showed up at Michigan with all kinds of promise and has been one of those guys with “potential” every single year.  Unfortunately, that potential gets consistently bottled up by injuries.  Shaw has suffered bumps and bruises to just about every extremity, which have limited him to only 802 yards in three seasons.  With only 159 career carries, though, he’s averaging 5.0 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown every 14 carries.  Those are both pretty good rates . . . if he could only stay on the field.

Now Shaw enters his senior season as a seeming also-ran at the tailback position.  He didn’t do himself any favors by welcoming the coaches with a broken hand suffered in the first couple spring practices, but he did show some toughness by playing with a cast.  Shaw performed well in the spring game, breaking off runs of 25, 9, and 5 yards in his only three carries, but that probably won’t be enough to earn him a starting nod in the  fall.  The new coaching staff seems to prefer bigger backs, with the slight ones (Shaw, Vincent Smith) getting pushed downward on the depth chart.  I’m ranking Shaw higher than some of the other backs, though, because he’s got home run speed and runs the ball hard.  He found some balance and tackle-breaking ability in 2010 that he didn’t have before, and I think the I-formation offense will actually suit him better than the spread.  Shaw does well when he’s able to run straight ahead.  Vision and cuts are not his strong suit, but run an iso or a power up the middle and he could be long gone if his blockers do their jobs.

Prediction: Backup running back; 75 carries, 400 yards


  1. Comments: 21385
    Aug 01, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    IMO he doesn't break enough tackles to be a primary back, but there's no questioning his big play ability. It'll be interesting to see how he fits into whatever the new offense is going to look like.

    I'd count Shaw out, but Chris Perry taught me a lesson – the light can come on at anytime for a talented RB. I wouldn't be shocked to see Shaw benched for good or turn into an all-conference selection.

  2. Comments: 21385
    Aug 01, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    I know he has injury issues, but he is my choice to start. Line him up in the I so he has a blocker, and he's got the home run speed to break it once he hits the secondary. Not to mention he often has yards after contact due to his tackle breaking ability., something that is very important in B1G play.

  3. Comments: 21385
    Aug 01, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    has mike shaw gained weight while at Michigan? I swear he's been 190ish for four years

  4. Comments: 21385
    Aug 01, 2011 at 10:37 PM


    I've been wondering the same thing, if he's smart, he'll have been busting his ass in the weight room this off season. I think the only thing coaches don't like about him is his weight and injuries. If he can get his weight up, that may allow him to prove he isn't (or is) injury prone.

  5. Comments: 21385
    Aug 01, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Am I the only one that has a problem with hus cocky attitude after a big run?

  6. Comments: 21385
    Aug 02, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Anonymous @7:49

    That bugs me as well, but for some odd reason he behaves much more decently after a touchdown than a big run. As long as he's productive and doesn't get excessive celebration penalties, I have a hard time complaining.

  7. Comments: 21385
    Aug 02, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Any time Shaw or Vince Smith is handed the ball, I cringe.

  8. Comments: 21385
    Aug 03, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Anonymous @8:41am,

    I cringe less for Shaw. How many times has he fumbled in his career? Once, maybe? I can't remember a single one. Smith hurt us a bit with fumbles later last year.

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