Shaquille O’Neal was a one-of-a-kind talent with a one-of-a-kind name when he burst onto the national scene at LSU in the early 1990s. Now, two decades later, the name is no longer a novelty. In fact, there are dozens of players in college athletics named Shaq — all of whom were born following O’Neal’s rise to prominence.
We looked at every roster in the Athlon Sports college football and basketball magazines from 1995, the year The Diesel played in his first NBA Finals with the Orlando Magic, and there wasn’t a single player in the nation with the first name Shaq or Shaquille. Now, it’s becoming commonplace.
Here are some of the more prominent players named Shaq in collegiate athletics.
• Shaq Wilson: Senior linebacker at South Carolina.
• Shaquille Thomas: Redshirt freshman basketball player at Cincinnati; top-100 national recruit in Class of 2011.
• Shaq Lawson: True freshman defensive end for Clemson; top-40 defensive line recruit in Class of 2012.
• Shaq Thompson: True freshman safety at the University of Washington; No. 6 overall recruit in Class of 2012.
• Shaquille Cleare: True freshman basketball player at Maryland; top-40 national recruit in Class of 2012.
• Shaquille Johnson: True freshman basketball player at Auburn; top-150 national recruit in Class of 2012.
• Shaquille Richardson: Junior cornerback at the University of Arizona.
• Shaq Roland: True freshman wide receiver for South Carolina; top-50 national recruit in Class of 2012.
• Shaqquan Aarron: Top-50 Class of 2014 basketball prospect.
• Shaquile Carr: Top-75 Class of 2014 basketball prospect.