Several of the top NFL Draft prospects are training at the Tom Shaw Performance Camp at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Headlining Shaw’s 2018 class is running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and quarterback J.T. Barrett (Ohio State).
Barkley, who many NFL observers feel will be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft in April, powered the Nittany Lions offense over the past three seasons and led his school to the 2016 Big Ten Championship.
“Saquon is a guy that every young person should try to be like because of his work ethic and his desire,” said Shaw. “He [Saquon] recently saw a 12-year-old kid working out three fields over from where he was. Saquon had already finished for the day and he had taken off his cleats. He thought this 12-year-old kid was outworking him that day, so he puts his cleats back on and runs over to the 12-year-old kid three fields away and starts working out with this kid. This is a guy who doesn’t just talk about being the best, he proves it every day on the field.”
Barrett, Ohio State’s former star quarterback, led the Buckeyes to a 38-6 record and the 2015 College Football Playoff national championship.
Shaw, who has worked with 145 NFL first-round draft choices, 10 No. 1 picks and 11 Super Bowl MVPs, thinks Barrett has a chance to become the next great NFL quarterback.
“This kid could be one of the best quarterbacks that I’ve ever had in my camp,” says the guy whose roster of NFL quarterbacks he has personally worked with reads like a NFL Pro Bowl roster with guys named Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and others.
“We’ve had a lot of good guys come through our program, and this kid has an arm that’s impressive. He also has the ability to learn and he really wants to be a great NFL player.”
Other marquee NFL players who have trained with Shaw at Disney include Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott, former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl linebacker Kahlil Mack and Devin Hester, the NFL’s all-time kickoff and punt return leader (20 combined TDs).
The draft prospects and NFL veterans have been working side-by-side at the sports complex for the past six weeks. Shaw and his team work with the players on the exact drills, techniques, and strength and conditioning workouts they will encounter when they go to the NFL Scouting Combine in late February in Indianapolis.
Prior to establishing his own performance camp at Walt Disney World Resort, Shaw was on the strength and conditioning staffs for Florida State University, the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints.
And in addition to working with NFL players, an increasing number of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars have been spending large chunks of their respective off-seasons working alongside NFL players at Shaw’s performance camp at Disney.
Guys like Atlanta Braves All-Star center field Ender Inciarte, Miami Marlins infielder Martin Prado and free agent Carlos “Cargo” Gonzalez are participating in the kinds of workouts normally reserved for men who make their livings on Sunday’s in athletic cathedrals like Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin or the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The baseball players believe Shaw’s non-traditional winter workouts, a mix of strength and endurance training, football cutting drills and other techniques that are synonymous with football, have made them quicker, stronger, better prepared for spring training (which begins in earnest for all 30 MLB teams this week) and better equipped to stay healthy for the 162-game season.
“In baseball, you always have to do a lot of movement,” said Inciarte. “The movements we work on all winter and spring with coach Shaw helps us all stay healthy. Sometimes, because you don’t work on it all the time in baseball, when you do react like that, you can get hurt. But once you’ve been doing it consistently on a daily basis, you are going to be ready for anything that can happen on the baseball field.”