2023’s Ricky Shaw is setting his sights on becoming a Florida Gator | Youth1

2023’s Ricky Shaw is setting his sights on becoming a Florida Gator

Ricky Shaw is one of the best players from the Tampa, FL area in the Class of 2023.


The 5-foot-7, 126-pound Shaw, who attends Pinellas Park Middle, is a dynamic player that works on both sides of the ball as a wide receiver and cornerback.


Shaw, who plays for the Largo Jr. Packers, has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding youth career, such as Best Offensive Player and being selected to the YFL Nationals.


Shaw is humbled by the accolades.


“It shows me that if I work hard and put my mind to it, there’s nothing I can’t do,” Shaw said. “It was a great experience  because we played teams across the US, so I was able to challenge myself a lot.”


No matter the opponent, on each snap Shaw is determined to give it his all.


Shaw is going all out.


The motor is always at full throttle whenever Shaw steps between the lines.


“My mindset at corner is to not let anyone on the outside of me and to not let them catch the ball,” Shaw said. “I want to make the opponent have to work for everything they get.”


Shaw has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Shaw tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.


“I love when I’m on the field and I score touchdowns because I get to see the crowd on their feet and going wild,” Shaw said. “And I love winning because the locker room is fun afterwards.”


Shaw has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.


The main one is applying perspective to all situations.


“Football has taught me so much about life in general,” Shaw said. “It taught me to never give up. If you keep working hard you can make anything you want to happen in life possible.”


Shaw recalls his favorite football memory.


“My favorite memory was when I had No. 1 because that was the best year that I had and I had a lot of touchdowns,” Shaw said. “It was a memory that I’ll never forget.”

Mitchell Abrams has coached Shaw for one year with the Largo Jr. Packers.


Abrams explains the best parts of Shaw’s game.


“He is very physical for his size, great hands and ball skills, can play zone or man press. Best open field tackler in my secondary ” Abrams said. “He’s a dominating force that the opposition always has to be aware of at all times.”


Shaw takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Shaw makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.


“I demonstrate being a good teammate by doing everything full speed and by always bringing my teammates up,” Shaw said. “The best advice I give is to never give up no matter what the score is or how much time is on the clock.”


Abrams adds that Shaw is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.


“He shows leadership by never complaining and being a quiet, lead by example type of player,” Abrams said. “That kind of attitude is contagious to the rest of the team and really rubs off on his peers.”


Shaw is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.


“I've learned a lot from my coaches on how to be a better player and person on and off the field,” Shaw said. “They keep me in line and telling when to stop being a cry baby and to be a team player.”


Abrams is an advocate of Shaw’s capabilities.


“He made an open field tackle in the Super Bowl from safety to probably save a TD or big gain on a huge RB ” Abrams said. “We wouldn’t have the success we had without his contributions.”


In addition to making clutch plays, Shaw also has a high level of football IQ as well.


Shaw has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.


“He uses his IQ by placing his body in perfect position to make tackles and interceptions,” Abrams said. “He’s a very smart player that always puts himself in a position to be successful on the field.”


Shaw is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.


“He works really hard at practice and is ready for more when it comes to drills,” Abrams said. “He really has a will to want to be great.”


Abrams explains why he compares Shaw to this player.


“Reminds me of Ronde Barber because he can cover and tackle really good,” Abrams said. “He’s the total package for a player in the secondary and he’s very fundamentally sound.”


Shaw patterns his mentality after these standouts.


“Jalen Ramsey and Odell Beckham because Jalen Ramsey can actually hit for a corner and Odell Beckham because he has the best one-handed catches,” Shaw said.  


Shaw is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.


“I want to be the best person I can be off the field and the best player I can be on the field,” Shaw said. “I want to make my family proud of me in everything that I do.”


Shaw has his sights set on becoming a Florida Gator.


“I like their football team and I’ve always been a fan,” Shaw said. “I would love to play at The Swamp and help Florida win another national title.”


Shaw lists history as his favorite subject in school.


“I really like to learn about the past and to see how it affects what our future could be,” Shaw said.


Abrams outlines the areas of improvement that will take Shaw to the next level.


“We’re just working with him on his speed and getting him ready to hit the weight room when he gets to high school,” Abrams said.


Abrams believes the sky is the limit as long as Shaw continues to stay hungry.  

“He can be a corner or WR that can make it in any system because he’s very coachable,” Abrams said. “He’s definitely a college athlete for sure.”


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