COLUMBIA - For a military buff, Connor Shaw couldn't have picked a better setting.
Connor Shaw at dinner with Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Where: Charleston Southern
When: 6 p.m.
Cost: Sponsorships ($1,000); Tables ($600); Adults ($50); Students ($25).
More information at www.ulfca.org
Connor Shaw autograph signing
Where: Palmetto Moon in Mount Pleasant
When: 1-4 p.m.
The former Gamecocks quarterback visited Washington, D.C., earlier this month with his longtime girlfriend, Molly Smith. They saw the monuments, stopped at the war memorials. Near the end of a weekend stay, Shaw dropped to one knee atop a bridge overlooking Georgetown Waterfront Park and proposed to his high school sweetheart.
She said yes. Shaw released a sigh of relief.
"I told her I hadn't been that nervous since I asked her out 4 1/2 years ago," Shaw said. "It was pretty special."
Shaw said no date has been set yet for the wedding, though the couple is in the planning stages. Meanwhile, he has plenty of things to keep him busy, including two public appearances Saturday in Charleston.
With the NFL Draft less than two months away, Shaw is preparing for South Carolina's Pro Timing Day on the morning of April 2. He plans to run throw, jump and run the 40-yard dash, despite a blistering time that ranked third among quarterbacks at last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
"A lot of guys don't run it after they ran a good 40 at the Combine," Shaw said, "but I'm a competitor. I feel like I compete against my own time. So that's what I'm going to do."
Shaw hopes to run a 4.5-second, 40-yard dash at South Carolina's Pro Day. It would be faster than the official 4.66-second dash he ran at the NFL Combine. That time clocked .02 seconds faster than former Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
For some, it may have been surprising to see Shaw run faster than Manziel. Shaw said he expected it.
"I think everybody else was shocked, but I knew coming in that I was faster," Shaw said. "I didn't think that Johnny was faster than me, or anybody else (was faster than me). I just kind of gave it everything that I had. So, no, I wasn't shocked with my 40 time. I was very happy with it."
Shaw said his schedule was packed in Indy.
The physical drills were only part of his experience at the NFL Combine. Just as important were interviews with franchise personnel, the decision makers who will dictate his future.
It's too early to predict where Shaw will be drafted. He said "it's scattered," a wide range of possibilities. But the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars were the "top two" teams showing the most interest, Shaw said.
The Seahawks, especially, have followed Shaw throughout this offseason. At the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January, Shaw had his first conversation with Seattle general manager John Schneider. It would be an interesting fit, potentially being drafted to back up quarterback Russell Wilson.
"I think he's a lot like Russell Wilson," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said earlier this month. "I mean, he can run, come out of the pocket, protect himself. He's an excellent passer. He's a very good passer. So all he needs is an opportunity.
"He's got a wonderful attitude. I think he'll go a long way. I think can play in the NFL. Whatever he does in life, he'll be successful."
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