The greatest football coach of all time, Vince Lombardi, once famously said, “There are three things that are important to every man in this locker room. His God, his family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order.”
Josh Shaw doesn’t play for the Green Bay Packers. He is a member of the USC Trojans. However, Coach Lombardi would have been proud to know Shaw has his priorities in order.
The senior cornerback suffered a pair of high ankle sprains Saturday, according to USCTrojans.com.
The injuries are secondary in this story. It’s how he suffered them. Jordan Moore of USCTrojans.com detailed the sequence of events which led to Shaw’s predicament.
“While attending a family social function at his cousin’s apartment in his hometown of Palmdale, Shaw looked on from a second floor balcony to the pool below and saw his 7-year-old nephew, who cannot swim, in distress without help nearby,” Moore wrote. “Shaw instinctively leaped off the balcony, landing painfully on the concrete below.
“He was able to crawl into the pool and ushered his nephew to safety. Despite the intense pain in his legs, he was then able to grab the ladder and lift himself out of the pool with his upper body.”
Shaw’s return to the football field is unknown, but that’s secondary at this point. Shaw’s heroic act displays his character and exactly why he was named a captain by his teammates.
“I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew,” Shaw told Moore. “My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible.”
The college football landscape is littered with stories that reflect poorly on student-athletes and the universities they represent. USC, on the other hand, can be proud to say Shaw is a member of its football team. Whether or not Shaw misses a significant amount of time this season, he’s already a winner.