For a guy who threw 24 TD passes and one interception last season, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw routinely was overlooked in 2013. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier hopes that changes.
"Connor's just a winner," Spurrier said. "He's a lot like Russell Wilson. He takes care of the ball. He doesn't do stupid stuff. He doesn't take careless sacks. He can throw it away. He's really a good passer. Any time you see a guy who can run as well as Connor, you don't think he's that good of a passer.
"I think he's going to wow 'em at the combine coming up this week," he said. "I hope he's a mid-round pick, maybe even better. The kid is a winner."
Shaw generally is seen as a third-day pick. While the Wilson comparisons are a little out there, Shaw does look as if he could, at the least, be a competent backup. He does a lot of things well, has the needed intangibles and doesn't make huge mistakes.
Shaw started 2 1/2 seasons for the Gamecocks, becoming the No. 1 guy six games into his sophomore season in 2011. He threw for 5,851 yards, 55 TDs and 14 interceptions and led the Gamecocks to three consecutive 11-win seasons. He had just three 300-yard games in his career, but he also ran for 17 TDs in the past three seasons.
Spurrier also talked about UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, who is in play to be the No. 1 overall selection in the draft. Spurrier's Gamecocks beat UCF, 28-25, but Bortles threw for 358 yards and two TDs in the loss.
"He was sensational down there against us, but somehow we won another one of our close wins down at UCF," Spurrier said. "But Bortles had a big game, as he did in almost every game this year. He's a very talented kid -- smart kid, big kid standing in the pocket and all that kind of stuff. If you're a drop-back team, he may be your guy."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.