Former Michigan running back Michael Shaw rolled his eyes.
He’s been in Tucson this week, preparing for the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game, so he’s been hearing the same question wherever he goes: “What do you think of Rich Rodriguez?”
The Arizona Wildcats’ new head coach was with the Wolverines from 2008-2010, a time of transition for Michigan that, as well-chronicled, didn’t go smoothly. Rodriguez went 15-22. Shaw was part of his first recruiting class.
“He’s a fiery guy,” Shaw said after Friday’s practice.
“He believes in his system, and his system works. (At Michigan), I think a lot of the guys had trouble buying in the first couple of years, but the guys out here in Arizona, they will buy in.
“They will compete with Oregon and USC as the top program out here because he’s a great coach, his staff is great, and they will get the guys ready.”
Shaw (6-0, 195) is one of three running backs on the Stars squad, representing the East. The others are Penn State’s Stephfon Green and Syracuse’s Antwon Bailey.
Shaw’s position coach for three years at Michigan was Calvin Magee, now the co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Arizona.
“I’ve had a lot of hard lessons from Coach Magee, but all in all, he made me a much better football player than what I came in as,” Shaw said. “I appreciate him for that.”
Shaw, who rushed for 1,001 yards in his Michigan career, is trying to work his way up from his status as a late-round, free-agent NFL prospect.
“I want to show that I’m an every-down back,” he said.
“I have speed, but I don’t want speed to be my crutch. I love to run inside. I love to be physical. I love to play downhill football. I just want everyone to know about me. I love the game. I’m passionate.
“I love being out here with the guys. I feel like these guys are my brothers, and we have only been out here for a couple of days.”
The Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at Kino Stadium. Fox Sports Arizona will televise the game, which also will be shown on other regional Fox affiliates.
Former Arizona fullback David Hill was added to the Stripes (West) roster earlier this week. That brings the number of former Wildcats in the game to seven. … About 70 professional scouts — including those from all but two NFL teams — have been watching practice this week. Included in those NFL personnel men were the general managers from three NFL teams. … For tickets and more information on the game, visit the official website.