MADISON — Freshman running back from Birmingham, Ala., Bradrick Shaw, has seen his reps and role on the Wisconsin offense increase from an inexperienced collegiate running back to the final part of the three-headed Wisconsin running back monster.
“At this point, my legs are a little bit more sore this week than in the past weeks,” Shaw said of his performance on Saturday against Illinois.
In the 49-3 win, Shaw put up 80 yards and one touchdown. Senior running backs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale both had over 100-yard games with Clement putting up 123 yards and three touchdowns and Ogunbowale, 103 yards.
Shaw’s role has morphed to meet the changes and improvements in Wisconsin’s run game. He feels what he can add to the team is taking advantage of whatever opportunity is given to him.
“I feel like my contribution to this team is just when I get my opportunity and my name is called, I just have to do what I do and make the most of it and try to give the team some energy,” he said. “It’s been great too to give Corey a bit of a breather. He’s been getting a lot of reps, so it’s been good to give him a breather when he’s tired and play a big part on the offense.”
This season Shaw has run 58 times for 307 yards and three touchdowns. He felt his game against Akron, where he got his first career touchdown as well as 74 yards was a pivotal moment in his role on the team. Both Clement and Ogunbowale gave him Shaw the simple but effective advice that has helped him achieve his first-year numbers.
“They just tell me good luck and ball out when I get in,” he said. “I learned a lot from these guys. I learn how they prepare each week, and I learn how hard you have to work to be successful.”
Their advice and Shaw’s consistent preparation this season has given him the confidence to go in with his older teammates.
“I feel normal playing now with 80,000 people watching. It’s starting to feel normal out there,” he said.
Trusting the process and trusting the run game are two things Shaw will be focusing on in the last two games of the season and into the potential opportunity for the postseason.
That being said, Shaw isn’t focusing on what could happen in the college playoffs. While he did admit to watching the rankings, what matters to him and the team is to have success in the last two games against Purdue and Minnesota.
And being able to play running back in such a historic venue as Camp Randall for such a legendary team in the Wisconsin Badgers is something Shaw is incredibly grateful for.
“It means a lot. It means a lot of great guys came before me. Great running backs came before me. For me to fill in their shoes and contribute to this team, it means a lot. It’s a blessing for me coming out here each week and being part of this team.”