ORLANDO, Fla. - Though Connor Shaw leaves college football with a legacy as South Carolina's best and winningest quarterback, the steady senior hasn't been regarded as much of an NFL prospect. But he will get a chance to alter perceptions in front of pro brass. Shaw learned of his invite to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis with head coach Steve Spurrier's off-hand comment during a news conference following the Capital One Bowl.
"(Shaw) is going to the Combine," Spurrier told the media before glancing at the Most Valuable Player of a 34-24 victory over Wisconsin.
"Did you know that?" Spurrier asked.
"No," Shaw said.
"They told me not to tell you until after the game," Spurrier said.
Shaw's value as a read-option veteran might rise in a league more open to college-style running quarterbacks.
"Obviously, I hope I get the opportunity," Shaw said. "And guys like (Seattle's) Russell Wilson, they give me hope."
Three South Carolina juniors repeated their intention to leave for the NFL - defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and cornerback Victor Hampton, plus defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a projected early first-round pick.
Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington (Berkeley High School) also is a strong NFL possibility, stronger after a career-best 140-yard receiving day with two touchdown passes against Wisconsin.
Redshirt sophomore tackle Brandon Shell (Goose Creek High School) asked for feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board but said Wednesday he will "definitely be back" at South Carolina for his junior season.
Wisconsin had three turnovers in the fourth quarter. South Carolina in its 31-17 victory over Clemson forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Spurrier went on about South Carolina's "identical" three straight 11-2 seasons.
"I mean, think about it," he said. "We went 6-2 in the conference, 11-2, win a bowl game, beat Clemson in all three. They're identical years, almost."
It was Spurrier's 300th game as a head coach (219-79-2).
Spurrier and Clowney got in postgame jabs at the arch-rival. Spurrier, upon accepting the Capital One Bowl trophy in an on-field ceremony. told the crowd that while two wins in Orlando in three years was fun, "that state championship ain't bad, either."
Clowney: "I've never lost a bowl game. Never lost to Clemson, either."
Tanner McEvoy started his college career as a South Carolina quarterback but transferred to Wisconsin and was converted into a safety. The 6-6, 223-pound sophomore made three tackles against his former school.
South Carolina with 438 yards against Wisconsin set a school record for total offense in a season, 5,880. The previous record was 5,499 in 2010.
Linebacker Skai Moore with two interceptions Wednesday finished as the team leader for the season with four. He also intercepted passes against Mississippi State and Clemson.
Freshman Spur linebacker Jordan Diggs had a career-high six tackles. Freshman cornerback Rico McWilliams made his first college start (Victor Hampton was benched for one play for disciplinary reasons).