MADISON, Wis. – Bradrick Shaw would have everyone believe he’s a quiet, grounded guy.
But after last weekend, no one is buying it.
In Wisconsin’s home opener against Akron last Saturday, the running back from Hoover, Ala., punctuated a 35-yard run by flipping into the end zone. His first career touchdown couldn’t have been louder.
“It opened up real wide for me and I knew I had to use my speed to beat all the people that were chasing me, so I picked up speed. I wanted to score,” Shaw told Landof10.com after Tuesday’s practice. “I thought he was behind me, so I did a flip and it felt great.”
It looked pretty good, too, almost like he’d done it before.
But he hadn’t. Not even close.
His teammates were shocked. They knew Shaw, a redshirt freshman, to be the guy who kept to himself in the locker room and at practice — a great teammate, but a reserved one. Certainly not an acrobat.
“It was surprising to see that from Bradrick,” said Wisconsin wide receiver Jazz Peavy. “He’s one of those guys who’s real quiet. To see him do something like that, make a big play like that, I was really excited for him.”
The Badgers’ sideline exploded, especially the rest of the running backs corps. Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal immediately pulled Shaw into their touchdown handshake.
One celebration cut through the rest, though.
“I came back to the sideline and they were like, ‘Your mom was yelling. All the way in (the stands) I could hear her,’ ” Shaw said with a “no surprise there” kind of laugh.
His mother, Karen Shaw, has lived the football mom life with all four of her sons. Shaw’s older brothers played college ball at South Florida and South Alabama and his youngest sibling is on a similar track — maybe moving a little too fast, in Shaw’s opinion.
“My little brother, he’s younger, but he’s been making plays and I have to be better than him,” Shaw said. “We always compete against each other.
“Mine was definitely the biggest play in the Shaw house (last weekend).”
It was also a nice do-over from the last time he went headfirst into an end zone. Shaw said last winter he took a similar dive in practice, but left out the tuck-and-roll. An awkward landing under the weight of his 6-foot-1, 211-pound frame resulted in a concussion, so this time around, he went for aesthetically awesome and physically safe.
Awesome enough, he hopes, to earn a nickname.
The Hoover High School Bucs alerted us to his former title, the “Shaw Express,” on Twitter over the weekend. With 3,000-plus yards and more than 40 touchdowns, Shaw certainly earned it.
“It was a cool nickname,” he said. “I used to like them calling me that, but I’m here now. I’d like a cooler one.”
He’s willing to flip for it.