Josh Shaw granted hardship waiver

LOS ANGELES -- USC defensive back Josh Shaw had his hardship waiver granted by the NCAA and will be eligible to play for the Trojans in 2012, he said Thursday.

He'll be a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.

Shaw, a transfer from Florida, filed a claim with the NCAA shortly after arriving at USC in January. It centered on his ailing father and grandfather and the family business that required him to be closer to their Palmdale home.

"We were optimistic the whole time, but it took so long," Shaw said Thursday. "So we were like, 'Man, why is it taking so long?'

"But I'm just happy that it's gotten approved and I'll be able to play this year."

Shaw has been bothered by back and rib injuries this spring and has been unable to practice. But he has said he expects to be ready for fall camp, when he will start out as a safety and potentially spend some time at cornerback.

He will compete to start with seniors Jawanza Starling and Isiah Wiley at strong safety and cornerback, respectively.

Shaw, who had 22 tackles in 10 games for the Gators last season, originally picked Florida over USC and LSU out of high school. He was the 28th-ranked prospect in the ESPNU 150 and the fourth-ranked player in California.

He originally decided on UCLA when leaving the Gators and switched to USC as the school's spring semester was starting in January.

USC coach Lane Kiffin said he was pleased the waiver was granted because Shaw will be able to help the team immediately, and also because Shaw has spent considerable time helping out at home since getting to campus.

"He's such a good kid and he does a lot outside of here," Kiffin said. "I'm just really happy for him."

Pedro Moura is a regular contributor to ESPNLosAngeles.com.