Jaguars' Posluszny stunned by ALS diagnosis of former college teammate

If Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny wasn't already among those becoming aware of the need for an increase in research to combat ALS, the news Tuesday about a former college teammate of his caught his attention all the more.

Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny wasn't already among those aware of the need for an increase in ALS research, the news Tuesday about a former college teammate of his caught his attention all the more.

Tim Shaw, who played linebacker alongside Posluszny for four years at Penn State and was with the Jaguars in 2008, announced in a video on the Tennessee Titans' website that he has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Shaw then poured a bucket of ice water on himself as part of what has become known nationally as the Ice Bucket Challenge.

"Crazy," said Posluszny, who last spoke to Shaw at the end of the 2012 season. "He's an outstanding athlete, a great person. And to see someone like that get diagnosed with ALS, it breaks your heart."

Both players were drafted in 2007 out of Penn State. Posluszny, a first-team All-American as a senior, went early in the second round to the Buffalo Bills and spent four years with them before coming to the Jaguars via free agency. Shaw was a fifth-round selection by the Carolina Panthers.

The Jaguars have joined the growing ranks of participants in the Ice Bucket Challenge, including when linebackers J.T. Thomas and LaRoy Reynolds poured buckets of water over the heads of general manager Dave Caldwell and director of player development Marcus Pollard on Tuesday.

But the news about Shaw, who was cut by the Titans before last season and announced his retirement earlier this year, was a cold slap in the face to Posluszny.

"It changes your perspective on things when you have someone that you know personally who is diagnosed with it," said Posluszny, who will turn 30 in October.

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.