South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw is airing it out following January foot surgery, but perhaps not in the way coaches expected.
In an interview with The State's Josh Kendall (h/t CBS), Shaw described the thrill of his first skydiving experience this past weekend, despite his recent recovery from an injury that threatened his 2012 season.
Shaw originally injured his left foot against Tennessee on October 19th, which resulted in a stress fracture and damage to two ligaments.
With the help of pain-killing injections and pills, Shaw was able to finish most of the 2012 season, only missing the Gamecocks' season finale against the Clemson Tigers and the closing minutes of the Outback Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines.
After the season, Shaw underwent surgery to repair the injured foot, which ultimately ruled him out of South Carolina's spring practices.
Doctors cleared Shaw for unlimited participation in practice around the end of May. He has attended all of the Gamecocks' summer workouts.
News of his skydiving excursion could have easily been met with concern by the South Carolina faithful, who are all too accustomed to questionable behavior by their quarterbacks following Stephen Garcia's rocky tenure in Columbia.
When asked if his coaches knew about the trip, Shaw replied, "I don’t think (the coaches) know yet, so we’ll see how that goes."
However, Shaw assured Kendall that his foot is completely healed and he was able to make the most of his experience on the sideline this spring:
It’s all good now. It was a long process. It was very frustrating during spring ball, but honestly it was probably a blessing in disguise because I was able to sit back and take everything in and watch it from more of a coach’s perspective. I really learned a lot through that. I’ve been through three spring balls. It’s not like a lot would have changed me going through it again.
Shaw will likely have some competition for the starting quarterback position this fall. Although coach Steve Spurrier expects him to be the starter on opening day, he has also acknowledged the possibility of junior Dylan Thompson taking some snaps under center throughout the season.