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Josh Shaw says NFL teams focused on play, not suspension


MOBILE, Ala. -- USC cornerback Josh Shaw was one of the few players who did not seem to be wide-eyed or timid on Tuesday as the North team kicked off its first Senior Bowl practice of the week leading up to Saturday's game on NFL Network.

That shouldn't be much of a surprise given the valuable experience he gained on the pre-draft circuit as a player in the East-West Shrine Game last week. As somebody who missed a good chunk of the Trojans' season due to a suspension from team activities, the defensive back is hoping the extra reps and additional practice time in front of coaches and scouts at the popular all-star game will be key to his rebuilding his draft stock after a wild year.

"I think so because I didn't have a long senior season. It was important for me to continue to get better," Shaw told College Football 24/7. "It was good to be out here and face some top competition, a lot of different skill sets at wide receiver."

Shaw gained plenty of notoriety last year when it surfaced he had made up a story about injuring his ankles while trying to save his nephew and subsequently having his name linked to an LAPD investigation. He was suspended for all but the final three games of the year as a result and has spent the time since USC's bowl game doing what he can to show he is still a top-50 prospect that teams don't need to worry about off the field.

While he has only gone through a limited number of talks with teams in Mobile, Shaw noted the early banter between him and NFL personnel has mostly centered on what he can do on the field as opposed to the very public incident he went through shortly after being named a team captain at USC.

"They of course want to know why I was not honest about that," Shaw said. "They've done their homework already and have an idea about my true character and stuff like that."

No matter what ends up happening behind closed doors with teams, Shaw was able to put some doubts to rest on the limited amount of tape on him by excelling in press coverage on Tuesday and showing off traits that could make him appealing to clubs who need somebody that can play both corner and safety at the next level.

He's still likely to hear about what happened in Los Angeles that led to his issues, but for now all the talk is where he wants it to be: between the lines.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer.*

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