Welcome to Hatchling Huddle, our newest semi-regular series where we talk with high school players and coaches about future Terps (or potentially future Terps).
This past Monday Maryland added David Shaw to their list of 2014 commits. A massive nose tackle from Pennsylvania, he looks to be an important cog in Maryland's defensive future, and we had the opportunity to talk with his high school coach, Russ Stoner. After just one win in 2011, Stoner led Spring Grove to an 8-4 record and a share of the Division Title in 2012, earning him All-Area Football Coach of the Year.
Much of Spring Grove's recent success has come from Shaw, and his coach noted his particularly hard work ethic.
"David plays hard on every play," Stoner said. "He really just doesn't stop, he goes to the whistle and plays extremely hard and fast. He's intense. He's a great fit for the University of Maryland."
Stoner said David has grown about three inches in his time at Spring Grove, and expects him to get up to around 310 pounds at Maryland.
"He's a big, big big nose guard," Stoner said. "He's very athletic, he runs a sub-5.0 40-yard-dash, he benches over 400 pounds, and he bends very well. And there's room to put more muscle on his body."
Spring Grove runs a 5-2 - very similar to Maryland's 3-4, with the only difference being the two outside-most front seven players are standing in Maryland's scheme. As a result, Stoner predicted that Shaw will need little adjustment time after arriving in College Park.
"He's going to play the nose there like he plays here, against the big uglies down in the trenches," he said. "He's just going to battle against kids who are going to be 6'5", 320 pounds. He's going to have the strength to do that, he's going to have the motor to do that, and with coach Gattuso he'll end up having the technique to do that as well."
Because of Shaw's overwhelming size and strength, Stoner said the rising senior can get away with less-than-perfect technique at the high school level.
That's one of the things he's really, really working on," he said. "Working on throwing his hands, and doing things better with his hands, and that's what we're going to continue to do."
Stoner said one of his coaches is going to work with Maryland defensive line coach Greg Gattuso at a camp this summer in order to learn the Terps' terminology, so Shaw can get acclimated to the college environment early. He spoke especially highly of Gattuso, calling him "one of the best defensive line coaches here on the East Coast", and said after Shaw gets to work with him, he will "grow and blossom into something special."
With starter Darius Kilgo entering his junior year and the squad-team trio of Nate Clarke (yes, even with his four-star pedigree), Alex Walker and Azubuike Ukandu, the Terps certainly hope Shaw can come in and compete with Kingsley Opara, this year's incoming nose tackle. It's perhaps the most vital position in the 3-4, and Shaw has the size and the strength to play it.