Quarterbacking sons keeps Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw on the run

Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw (R) hopes to see son Connor play quarterback for South Carolina tonight against Southern Miss. (AJC photo)

Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw (R) hopes to see son Connor play quarterback for South Carolina tonight against Southern Miss. (AJC photo)

You’ll have to forgive Lee Shaw if he seems a little droopy-eyed on Sunday. By then he will have done a lot of driving, watched a lot of football and done very little sleeping.

It’s just that he has a little football trifecta he needs to attend to over the next three days and there won’t be much time for siestas.

Tonight he’ll be in Columbia, S.C., to watch his youngest son Connor Shaw suit up and play for the South Carolina Gamecocks. On Friday, he’ll be in Flowery Branch to coach his high school team in its home opener against Winder-Barrow. Early Saturday morning he’ll be heading south to Statesboro to see his other son Jaybo Shaw making his debut for Georgia Southern against Savannah State.

He has his regular coaches’ meeting planned for early Sunday afternoon, provided he can wake up for it.

“I’ll find sleep when I can,” said the longtime high school coach. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Both Shaw’s sons, Jaybo and Connor, played — and starred — for Shaw at Flowery Branch. Now they’re pulling off the rare dual feat of playing college football at the same time. And when I say playing, I mean actually participating in said games.

Connor is expected to get playing time in tonight’s nationally-televised game against Southern Miss as the backup to Stephen Garcia. Jaybo, who transferred to Georgia Southern from Georgia Tech this past winter, will start for the Eagles and first-year coach Jeff Monken.

“Having two sons as playing quarterback in college, it’s really a dream come true and we know we’re blessed,” Coach Shaw said.

Connor’s ascension is the surprising one. A three-star prospect, he signed with South Carolina to little fanfare last December and joined the Gamecocks as an early enrollee last January. At South Carolina, Shaw was coming in behind Garcia, an established senior who had started the last 14 games in a row. So there were no hints that he’d be eyeing playing time as a true freshman.

But because of Connor’s strong showings in spring ball and the offseason, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier pronounced the quarterback position an ongoing competition early in preseason camp and now says Connor likely will play in tonight’s game.

“We’re all hoping and wishing that Stephen Garcia will play well, play smart and take care of the ball,” Spurrier told reporters this week. “I’m hoping that happens so we can bring Connor along slowly. But if it doesn’t go very well, we’ll give Connor a chance to play. If we’re going to have a big year, our quarterbacks have to play well and play smart. Stephen Garcia will get the first opportunity to do that; Connor will also play early in the game.”

Said Dad: “Him being able to go in in January and go through their off-season workouts and study the playbook worked to his advantage. Connor’s all about football. He loves it. It’s what he does. So he just immerses himself in it. He sent me a text this week. He said, ‘I’m doing what I’ve been doing since I was 6 years old. I love it!’”

That cast aside any doubts Coach Shaw had about missing South Carolina’s opener. He’ll skip Flowery Branch’s Thursday practice instead.

“It’s the only practice I’ve missed in my career but it’s a Thursday night game and I can’t miss Connor’s first college game,” said Shaw, who was making the drive Thursday afternoon with his wife Dawn. “I feel like we’re in pretty good shape. It’s just a walk-through.”

Jaybo’s emergence is no small accomplishment either. He followed Monken to Statesboro to resurrect option football at Georgia Southern but he did so with a still-mangled collarbone, which he broke at Georgia Tech.

After months of intense rehab, Jaybo was able to heal in time to win the starting job for the Eagles. He’ll be under center as the starter on Saturday and Lee and Dawn will be in the stands to see it.

“Jaybo’s doing great,” Lee said. “His collarbone has healed up real well and that’s really fortunate because it was as bad a break as the doctors have ever seen. He’s looking forward to getting Georgia Southern back to option football.”

As for kid-watching, the conflicts have only just begun. The Shaws will have to split up next weekend. Dad will be making the 12-hour drive up to Annapolis, Md., to catch Georgia Southern’s game against Navy while Dawn will carry the family flag back over to Columbia to watch Connor and the Gamecocks take on Georgia.

And then there’s this: The Shaws have a 16-year old daughter named Anna Kate. “A.K.,” as everbody calls her, is a tennis prodigy who’s singles career is just starting to take off.

Sleep? That’ll have to come later.

29 comments Add your comment

First

September 2nd, 2010
4:22 pm

atlantarob

September 2nd, 2010
4:42 pm

Every article I’ve seen in the AJC references Stephen Garcia as a Senior, he is actually a Junior.

Paddy

September 2nd, 2010
5:10 pm

Thanks, atlantarob, glad to hear you liked Chip’s article on the Shaw family!

Coolest in the Clutch

September 2nd, 2010
6:13 pm

.
————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–
.

ryan

September 2nd, 2010
6:23 pm

That shows a lot a class with that Nesbitt for Heisman crap this is about Connor Shaw i get so sick and tired of the Tech fans who come these blogs i am UGA fan i going to apologize to the Shaw family because of these idiots

chilidawg

September 2nd, 2010
6:31 pm

Best of luck to them, except against the dawgs of course.

wesleywhatwhat

September 2nd, 2010
7:23 pm

i have to apologize to the world because of this ryan idiot.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 2nd, 2010
11:26 pm

The father and both sons have done extremely well at Flowery Branch, from the program’s inception in 2003 through last season. Here’s hoping that all three of them continue their success not only through this season, but through the remainder of their respective careers. It’s been a joy to see them perform.

mowreck

September 3rd, 2010
12:10 am

I watched the hold USC/Ga Southern game and never saw Jaybo play a down. Connor looked pretty good for USC but won’t start unless the senior Garcia messes up (which he has done before). Southern played 2 QBs in the game and the 2nd one could really throw the ball. I was a big Jaybo fan when he was at Ga Tech, but noone is gonna play much until Nesbitt leaves. Was Jaybo’s collarbone giving him problems? Does anyone know?

5150 P.O.A.D

September 3rd, 2010
1:26 am

Nice rush Conner and a good pass. I hope dad is happy and I still want to read more about Jaybo too. Be safe and blessed to all your family Coach Shaw. I will say I hate your colors in the photo. HAHAHHAH Great first game C Shaw.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 3rd, 2010
1:28 am

I guess you can call it a good Pass when it adds up on the scorebaord for 6 right!!!!

Craigee....aka Champ's Hero

September 3rd, 2010
5:20 am

Hey Mowreck, might want to read the article again….and lay off the Budweiser’s. USC played SOUTHERN MISS Thursday night, not Georgia Southern. Jaybo plays this Saturday against Savannah State.

F-105 Thunderchief

September 3rd, 2010
8:25 am

Fortunately, I only have to keep up with one of the Shaw boys. Go Eagles!

YES GA

September 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

Good Game Conor We really enjoyed watching you last night.

mowreck

September 3rd, 2010
9:29 am

Craigee, u are absolutely right, but I don’t drink. When u get old and have footballs buzzing thru the brain and up watching the Hawaii/USC game, that late at night anything will appear in the blog. … ugh!

T3

September 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

Another UGA players arrested.

Dont think many recruits or their parents are going to be interested
in sending their kids to a UGA program thats clearly got trouble.

Richt’s so-called recruiting “Dream Team”

could likely “Crash and Burn” badly.

Burdell

September 3rd, 2010
10:43 am

Connor sure looked good last night…he’s quick on his feet and throws a nice ball. Good luck to him and Spurrier….but it doesn’t look like Garcia is going down without a fight.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 3rd, 2010
11:06 am

Connor Shaw is the future at S. Carolina even though Spurrier will only be there another year or so at best. If he has a good season he may retire this year. The Cocks looked good against an inferior opponent. There was absolutely ZERO pass rush on the QB after the first 8 minutes of the game. The Cajuns had receivers open all over the place but the QB couldn’t get them the ball. Carolina’s defense looked good against the run. Also, the refs called some questionable penalties early on in favor of the Cocks. In particular, two inteference calls that kept the early drives going when the ball was so far over thrown that Godzilla couldn’t have gotten to it. UGA is playing in GameCrock country – which was a definite advantage penalty wise in this last game. UGA’s pass rush will be the key and first and foremost they will have stop the QB’s from scrambling.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

September 3rd, 2010
11:53 am

If Ogletree stole the helmet Mrk Richt needs to send a strong message to the team and suspend him for the year…. meaning they will redshirt him. This is a moral issue as well as a legal one. The value of what was stolen is irrelevant in this case. I hate that this keeps comiing up but it has to be firmly taken care of. What makes this so hard for Richt is that if these players leave UGA because of their punishment they will likely be picked up by another SEC team that favors winning over right and wrong. An example of this is the fact that Less Miles just offered Mettinbubba a free ride and some day UGA will have to face him in a game.

TXDawg

September 3rd, 2010
11:54 am

FloRiDuh….Southern Miss is not the Cajuns, that would be Louisiana Lafayette. So Miss are referenced as the Golden Eagles. You must have been up with Mowreck.

Burdell

September 3rd, 2010
12:57 pm

LOL–TxDawg…I caught both of those too.

Nine Bulldogs Arrested This Calendar Year

September 3rd, 2010
12:58 pm

More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!

gt

September 3rd, 2010
1:35 pm

Can AK play football?

treyingeorgia

September 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

Oh great for Georgia Southern- resurrect that high school offense… unbelievable…. bunch of idiots… quit living in the past- the offense had it’s day… you fire Hatcher for Monken that’s funny… hate to say it guys; but, the real GSU resides in Metro Atlanta now… do you people realize the caliber of athlete that Georgia State has been able to attract running a conventional offense and they just played their first game last night.. just like Tech you will not be able to recruit the higher caliber athlete… sad sad state of Georgia Southern football.. oh and I am a Georgia Southern Grad I might add… Georgia State will go division I. with 5 to 7yrs mark my words and Georgia Southern will stay where they are at and continue to be insignificant… Sad!!!

Ben Carlton

September 4th, 2010
1:16 am

Ga. Southern over the past year and a half has been studying moving from 1-AA to !-A. With over 20,000 students now, this is not far fetched. Regarding Q.B. besides having the experienced Jabo, they also have outstanding true freshman Q.B.’s, Youyoute and McKinnon. Ans some great backs and overall defense. So we might just get by O.K.

treyingeorgia

September 4th, 2010
8:43 am

Ben Carlton- this is the say thing they looked at doing 15yrs ago only to back away…. I can tell you if they do decide to make the move they will be lucky to win 2 or 3 game’s especially running that high school offense… I’ll say it again GA Southern Alumni live in the past see the move on Hatcher who was given I think 3yrs to get a class on to run his offense which had been successful at every level– trying running that offense when your QB is a glorified running back… Look at the players GA State was able to bring in as a perfect example… Star Jackson is a perfect example- do you think for a minute if Southern ran the option they would be able to attract that caliber of athlete…. Sad…Sad state of Southern Football is all I can say….The really missed their window of opportunity 12+yrs ago to move ( see Marshall.. Central Florida as example’s )

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 5th, 2010
3:07 pm

Jaybo had a great debut in Statesboro Saturday. Completed 7 of 10 passes for 109 yards, and executed the triple option offense to an outstanding 431 yards rushing … of which he personally accounted for 62. I maintained for the last two years that Jaybo was the better passer among the Tech QB’s … although I’ll admit that Joshua is the better rusher, especially against the bigger 1-A defenses. I hope we’ll continue to see great things from all three Shaw men over the next few years.

just the truth

September 5th, 2010
10:05 pm

I thought this was suppose to be recruiting blog. This is just a sports story and should be moved to the general sports section.

Jimmy

September 7th, 2010
3:36 pm

Show some respect you idiots. This is a story about a coach and his two sons. As a father of six and four year old boys, I can only imagine the pride that Coach Shaw must be feeling, watching his two sons not only play college football, but get free quality educations.