The two programs that squared off in last year's SEC title game may have to gear up for another epic showdown, but this time it's for the commitment of one of the best defensive tackle recruits in the nation: Elisha Shaw.
Shaw is the No. 2-ranked defensive tackle in the 2014 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and he's recently stated that he has two leaders for his eventual commitment, per Michael Carvell of ajc.com:
UGA has caught up with Alabama and is now a co-leader for Elisha Shaw, the state’s No. 1 prospect at defensive tackle.
“Alabama and Georgia are like the same,” the Tucker High School star told the AJC on Wednesday. “That’s why they are my top two. Both of them are equal for me right now. I’m just going to keep riding it out until I find the difference in them.”
This is good news for Georgia, specifically because Shaw had named Alabama his leader just about a month ago after he visited the Crimson Tide for their spring game (Matt Scalici/AL.com, h/t Carvell).
Carvell also reports that Shaw will take an unofficial visit to Georgia this weekend, and that he's expected to get some quality time in with Georgia head coach Mark Richt—so the good news keeps on rolling for UGA fans.
Shaw would be a major recruit for Richt and the Bulldogs to land, especially when considering how important in-state recruiting is and will be for Georgia. Some of the best recruits in the nation hail from the great state of Georgia on a yearly basis, and Richt has had somewhat of a hard time landing those elite recruits as of late.
That said, Georgia already has the commitment of the No. 5 player from the state (247Sports), 4-star defensive tackle Dontavius Russell, and it looks like the Bulldogs can make some major strides with Shaw this weekend.
Out-recruiting Nick Saban and Alabama is no easy task, but Georgia is arguably one of the hotter programs in the 2014 cycle right now. The Bulldogs' two biggest commitments, 5-star running back Sony Michel and 4-star tight end Jeb Blazevich, are both marquee recruits, and UGA is at or near the top of several other highly ranked recruit's 247Sports interest lists, including 5-star defensive end Kentavius Street (leader) and 4-star defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (leader).
It's tough to give many programs a chance when it comes to beating Saban and his staff for an elite defender, but Georgia is riding a wave of momentum right now, and the Bulldogs appear to be poised to do great things this recruiting cycle.
A Top Five recruiting class is not out of the question, and perhaps Shaw will be a part of that class. That's still up in the air, but at the very least Georgia now knows that it's back on top of Shaw's interest list—albeit tied with Alabama.
Who has the advantage in this recruiting race? Let us know what you think in the comments.