Utah CB Coach Sharrieff Shah: So Special Coaching In Rose Bowl

Dec 22, 2021, 11:32 AM
Sharrieff Shah - Utah Utes vs. BYU...
(Photo courtesy of Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Photo courtesy of Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Sharrieff Shah is heading back home to coach in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Sharrieff Shah is a native of Los Angeles and grew up watching the Rose Bowl ever since he was a little boy. Although, Shah didn’t play in the big game as a player for the Utes from 1990-93, he is excited to be able to coach in the game that he grew up watching. It’s even more special to Shah to coach in this game after the tragedy the program has gone through over the last year with the passing of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.

Shah spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon and was asked about the significance of coaching in the Rose Bowl as a native of Los Angeles.

“This is so special,” Shah said. “When I fell in love with football as a little boy, this is the game that I watched. I mean, you live in the shadows of both USC and UCLA. It’s special. I love the Rose Bowl, I love the stadium, I love playing UCLA, that’s my favorite venue. It’s incredibly special to be in this game. It’s like literally a dream come true. I never thought I would play in it. I always believed I would coach in it, I never knew when but to do it now under the circumstances with some of the things that we’ve dealt with off the field. Having those, we call them spiritual motivators. It’s been a blessing.”

Sharrieff Shah Dealing With Injuries At Cornerback Ahead Of Rose Bowl

With all the excitement built up around facing Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Shah and defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley are dealing with a depleted cornerback room. Clark Phillips has held down the left cornerback spot all season. Malone Mataele, for the most part, has been healthy at nickel but the right outside cornerback spot has gone through a ton of different players.

JaTravis Broughton was the starter in the season opener but suffered a season-ending injury against BYU. Faybian Marks stepped in and performed well on the outside before going down for the year against Arizona. Zemaiah Vaughn left the Pac-12 Championship game with an injury and tweeted afterwards that he had successful surgery.

Kyle Whittingham said last week that the defensive staff is going through their options of potentially having players change positions for the Rose Bowl. Caine Savage, LaCarea Pleasant-Johnson and Elisha Lloyd are also options to step in at corner. Shah said that they haven’t had any new additions to his cornerback room.

“In terms of changing positions, we only have the folks that I have in my room that’s been in my room,” Shah said. “So we haven’t asked anybody at this point right now to change their position. We’ve asked folks to do more. But we haven’t asked anybody yet to change their position. We’ve been pushing and asking our kids that are here to know a little bit more. So my nickel has to play outside corner, the safety has to be able to play nickel. So that’s been the biggest thing right now.”

Utah will face No. 6 Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 3 p.m. MT on ESPN.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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