Connor Shaw finished 2011 with an absolute bang. In his last three starts, he threw for 657 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interceptions. He also rushed for 239 yards with three touchdowns.
He had excellent stats throughout the course of the season to be sure. He had 1,448 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also rushed for more than 500 yards and eight touchdowns. That's excellence.
However, what happens if he maintains the pace he had at the end of the year? Two of those three starts were against big-time schools. He torched Clemson and Nebraska. The third was against a decent Citadel team (which ironically gave him his only interception).
If you stretch his three-game pace over the course of an entire season, you would have something that looks like this: 2,628 yards, 32 touchdowns, four interceptions, 956 yards, 12 touchdowns.
Those aren't only All-SEC and All-American numbers, that's Heisman-type numbers.
Will that happen? Who knows. Connor Shaw has the ability and the work ethic to get there. When you compare his current body of work, it wouldn't be surprising for him to compete for an All-SEC spot behind Tyler Wilson and Aaron Murray. He is that good.
He's also a unique talent. His running ability is like that of a running backs. His mind is an asset as well. He compares very favorably to current Heisman holder Robert Griffin III. He's a high-character, highly talented and dedicated quarterback.
He eats film for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is easily coached. He has natural leadership ability. He's pretty much the ideal college quarterback.
It wouldn't be a surprise to anyone who watched him play towards the end of his first year as a starter for him to put up 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing.
He could end up being the SEC's best quarterback. He has work to do, but his work ethic could get him there.
Either way, the keys to the Gamecocks' potentially dynamic offense will be in great hands for the next two seasons.