Sept. 29, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It happened in the blink of an eye. Well, in the blink of 84,392 sets of eyes and the millions of others watching on national television.
It was just a routine play against Oklahoma in front of a not-so-routine stadium-record crowd but the result was anything but normal.
Kenny Shaw, Florida State’s rising sophomore wide receiver, had hauled in a pass from quarterback EJ Manuel just before the goal line in the south endzone. The Orlando, Fla. native jumped and brought the ball in to his body and briefly landed before the lights went out.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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Shaw was sandwiched around his head and shoulders by two Sooners defenders in such a teeth-rattling way that everyone inside Doak Campbell Stadium let a collective “oh.”
As a result of the hit, Shaw lost his consciousness and, for more than a few gut-wrenching moments, lay on Bobby Bowden Field motionless before being strapped into a cart and wheeled out of the stadium and into a waiting ambulance.
It was one of those plays on the football field where you don’t question when the injured player will be return but rather, will he ever?
Remarkably, Shaw had a terrific answer to that unfortunate question. Not only did he return from the hospital to the sidelines late in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma game but he also proved healthy enough to return to practice last Thursday and then played against Clemson.
“When I was warming up [at Clemson] I saw people just looking like, ‘Isn’t that the same kid who got hit and knocked out?'” Shaw said. “But then I kind of like that because it shows I’m a tough kid and that I will do anything to get back to the football team.”
And Shaw certainly helped against the Tigers.
Midway through the fourth quarter and down by 12 points, Shaw hauled in his first touchdown reception of the season. The nine-yard scoring toss from quarterback Clint Trickett pushed the Seminoles to within five points and gave them an opportunity late to win the ballgame.
Reminiscent of a week ago, Shaw caught the pass near the goal line — but this time he was able to duck under the defenders for the touchdown.
“It felt pretty good,” Shaw said. “I can do nothing but thank God. I know when I caught the ball, all I was thinking about was getting down. It felt good to show Seminoles fans that I could get a touchdown and that I’m back.”
Shaw’s positive impression isn’t just limited to the fans.
His teammates have taken notice as well.
“I commend Kenny on that,” sophomore safety Lamarcus Joyner said. “He’s determined and accountable and wants to be here for this team. For him to bounce back after an injury like that and play in a big game, I really respect Kenny for that.”
Despite missing 2 1/2 quarters of the Oklahoma game, Shaw has kicked off his second season as a Seminole with 10 catches for 126 yards and one touchdown.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher said Tuesday after practice that he is glad Shaw is healthy and able to use his skills to contribute.
“It was really good to see him out there and we need him out there,” Fisher said, “because Kenny is a very, very good player.”
Shaw said that he developed a strong rapport with quarterback Clint Trickett before the the duo ever enrolled at FSU two years ago.
The two actually forged a bond while dominating a local camp together.
“We actually both went to a Nike camp up here and we both won MVP because we were going with each other and that’s how it all started,” Shaw said.