Just days ago, there were probably some coaches who have recruited Texas for some time who had never been to tiny Mineola, a railroad town with a population of less than 6,000 people perhaps best known for once being the residence of Jim Hogg, the populist Texas governor in the late 19th century.
Now college coaches around the region have a reason to know about Mineola -- a 6'2, 200-pound linebacker named Dac Shaw who has exploded onto the recruiting radar in recent days.
Currently possessing offers from Baylor and Texas Tech that were both extended in the last week, other college coaches who have stopped through the town 80 miles east of Dallas include Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and SMU, with the Horned Frogs possibly close to offering as well, as Shaw named them as his leader in a conversation with GigEm247.
A running back and linebacker for the 3A school, Shaw is new to the linebacker position, having played there only season. However, he clearly made a quick adjustment as a junior, accounting for nearly 100 tackles.
What stands out most about Shaw at the position is his closing speed to the football. While his first several steps are quick, he has an extra gear that allows him to close on ballcarriers like a safety when he calculates the proper angle-- not overly surprising since he's the size of a big high school safety -- and then finish tackles with solid wrap-up ability. A reasonably hard hitter simply because of the velocity at which he arrives, he could stand to improve on his ability to sink and explode through his hips prior to contact.
A likely outside linebacker prospect, Shaw will need to add some weight to his frame to win battles against offensive lineman at the second level in college. There's also no film evidence of his ability to drop into coverage -- it could be that he doesn't do it often or simply doesn't do it well enough to put it on film.
As a running back, Shaw shows acceleration that's a bit more smooth than at linebacker, while also possessing the balance and overall toughness as a runner to break a variety of arm tackles. He's considered a linebacker by the services, and his upright running style doesn't project nearly as well as his skills on defense, but he does have the talent there to play there for an FCS school, if not a lower-tier FBS school after gaining 1,400 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns there as a junior.
Given his potential at linebacker and growing high-major interest, there's little to no chance of that happening.
Overall, it's hardly a stretch to label Shaw as a raw prospect who will need some developmental time at the collegiate level, but it's also not a stretch to predict that some real heavy-hitters could get seriously involved with his recruitment in the near future because of his upside as likely top-30 player in the state when the new rankings come out.
After all, one of the reasons his current weight isn't a major concern is because hybrid safety/linebackers who can run are growing in popularity in the Big 12 as defenses continue to face spread teams nearly every week during conference play.