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Georgia Tech's Shaw called the right audible

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson had to recruit backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw twice -- once when Johnson was at the Naval Academy, and again when he was hired by Georgia Tech.

The second time was much easier, even though by that time, Shaw had already committed to Middle Tennessee.

"It was crazy," Shaw, 18, said. "My mind was set on going there. I loved coach Johnson and (quarterbacks) coach (Brian) Bohannon, I loved the option, I wanted to go (to Navy), but the military thing was just not for me. They called my dad one more time before signing day and wanted to make sure. At the time I didn't want to."

One of the first things Johnson did when he and his staff were hired, though, was make a visit to the Shaw's house in Flowery Branch, Ga. The next day, Shaw switched schools.

"When coach Johnson got the job, as soon as I found out, there was no question," he said. "Anytime you make a commitment and have to back out of it it's hard. I had to call Middle Tennessee and let them know and they understood."

It couldn't have worked out better.

Shaw has already proven his worth as the Yellow Jackets' backup, as he came in for injured starter Josh Nesbitt last week against Mississippi State and helped lead Georgia Tech to a 38-7 win. Shaw ran for a 25-yard touchdown and he also threw a 20-yard touchdown pass. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown and added 61 yards rushing on nine carries.

Shaw also played in the season opener against Jacksonville State and in two games has completed 60 percent of his passes and has 112 rushing yards on 18 carries (6.2 ypc).

"We felt like he fit what we were looking for in a quarterback," Johnson said. "He can run and throw. He's got great feet. ... He's a coaches' son, so he understands the game. He doesn't rattle easily. I'm proud of him. (Mississippi State) threw a lot of stuff at him. They played a lot of different fronts, did a lot of different things. He made a mistake or two, but for the most part he handled it."

That's because Johnson gave him the chance to prove he could. Shaw said he realizes Johnson gave him an opportunity he might not otherwise have had.

"I'm barely six foot," he said. "I'm about 190 ... I wasn't a big Division I quarterback, and I had accepted that role.

When coach Johnson came to Georgia Tech, I knew at Navy he played the smaller-type quarterback that could run. When he got the job, and told me that I still had an offer at Georgia Tech, it was a dream come true, getting to play in the ACC, getting to go places like Clemson, Virginia Tech, Boston College, playing on national television. That's just a little boy's dream come true and of course my dream come true."