50 GREATEST GOLDEN BEARS - #39 - BOBBY SHAW#39 - BOBBY SHAW - WIDE RECEIVER (1994-1997)
Bobby Shaw left Cal as the school's all-time leader in receptions with 180 catches for 2,731 yards and 27 touchdowns, and was the brightest offensive light during some rough years for Cal fans.
After a sophomore year in which he shared starting duties, Shaw emerged as a force in 1996. Steve Mariucci became Cal's head coach that year, and his passing offense was well-suited to a playmaker like Shaw who was renowned for his ability to run after the catch. He immediately prospered, turning in great performances against UCLA (12 catches for 168 yards) and in a memorable 48-42 triple-overtime win over Oregon State, when he scored three touchdowns. In the Aloha Bowl following that season, Shaw scored twice more on passes from Pat Barnes in Cal's 42-38 loss to the Navy. Bobby was named first-team All-Pac 10 for his performance that year.
In 1997, Shaw stepped up to captain Tom Holmoe's first team and elevate his game to a higher level. He set single-season records with 74 receptions for 1,093 yards and 11 touchdowns, despite receiving near-constant double-coverage. It was a tough year for Cal, but Shaw helped deliver one of the Bears' three wins with 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 40-36 win over Oklahoma. He was again voted to the All-Pac 10 first team, and also became the third Cal wide receiver to win first-team All-America honors (from Sporting News).
Shaw was drafted in the 6th round by Seattle in 1998. He signed later that year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and played five productive years with the Steelers, Jaguars and Bills. UCLA Head Coach Bob Toledo put it well when he said of Shaw, "(he's) the best receiver in the conference, one of the best in the country, and he'll end up being the best receiver in Cal history." While we would quibble with the last part of that assessment, Bobby Shaw is certainly a deserving member of the Fab 50.