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Rams among teams interested in QB Shaw

2014-05-01T16:34:00Z 2014-05-05T15:07:11Z Rams among teams interested in QB ShawBy Jim Thomas jthomas@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8197 stltoday.com

He's tough, he's competitive, and he wins.

As Connor Shaw says, "I think my record speaks for itself. In my opinion that's the best conference in college football (the SEC), and I believe I am an elite competitor. I think I am going to prove that in the NFL."

Shaw was 27-5 as a starter at South Carolina, making him the winningest quarterback in school history. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier also has called him the best quarterback in school history. He's a leader who commands respect, and wants to be the toughest guy on the field.

"I think people look at your individual stats more than what you did as a team, and this is a team game," Shaw said. "Priority No. 1 wherever you go is to win, and we did a bunch of it."

Besides that 11-2 record last season, Shaw's numbers in 2013 were tough to beat: a 63.4 percent completion percentage on 284 attempts, 558 yards rushing, and 24 touchdown passes with only one interception.

The Rams have shown significant interest in Shaw as they sort through their options at quarterback. They have spoken with him multiple times over the pre-draft process. San Francisco, Oakland, Jacksonville, and Cleveland are among other teams that have shown interest in Shaw, who projects as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

But Shaw is not the biggest QB on the block at 6-0, 207, and he had several injury issues over the course of his college career, including shoulder, foot, and knee ailments, plus a concussion. For the most part he played through the injuries, coming off the bench against Missouri this past season to rally South Carolina to a 27-24 double-overtime victory at Faurot Field. Shaw didn't start that day because of a knee injury.

The year before, Shaw completed a school-record 20 consecutive passes against the Tigers in a 31-10 South Carolina victory.

"There is not a specific mold you have to fit anymore to be an NFL quarterback," Shaw said. "You see Russell Wilson and he's kind of proved that. He's got a shiny rock on his finger now (as a Super Bowl champion) and he's 6-foot. I don't think there is a prototypical quarterback size anymore."

With nearly 1,700 yards rushing over his time at South Carolina, Shaw has shown an ability to extend plays with his legs when protection breaks down. But that has also led to some of those injuries, so Shaw plans on running less in the NFL.

"Absolutely," Shaw said. "If you don't take those big hits, you will last much longer in the NFL."

Follow Jim Thomas on twitter @jthom1

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