Ole Miss Rebels Lead for No. 2 DT Elisha Shaw

By Patrick Schmidt
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga. Tucker), the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle according to the 247Sports composite rankings has named Ole Miss as his new leader which may have come as a surprise to some rival schools in the southeast.

Alabama was the leader for the 6-foot-4.5, 295-pound Elisha Shaw after he visited the Crimson tide on Apr. 20 and the biggest challenger in the pursuit of Shaw was believed to be Georgia or perhaps even Auburn. However, his time in Oxford, Mississippi was enough to move the Rebels ahead of their SEC counterparts and into the top position.

The challenge for Ole Miss will be staying in the top position after Shaw takes other visits, including repeat trips to Alabama and Georgia among others. Shaw isn’t expected to announce a final decision until national signing day in February. Ole Miss should be optimistic; however, of their ability to keep their spot at the top because it only took one trip to Oxford to trump the five times he has been at Alabama for unofficial visits or camps.

Furthermore, Ole Miss has had success recruiting the Peach State having signed five from Georgia in the 2013 class and currently have three committed for the 2014 class. The biggest player to come from Georgia is, of course, Robert Nkemdiche from Grayson High School in Loganville and his older brother Denzel whom Shaw told David Johnson of Rebels247, “Them two boys are like my brothers, man,” Shaw related, “We hit it off real good. We all just love the game of football.”

Shaw has exceptional quickness off the ball to cause havoc in the backfield and strong enough at the point of attack to be an anchor against the run. He has prototypical size for a defensive tackle and athleticism of a player much smaller than his nearly 300-pound frame would suggest. He reminds me of former Oklahoma and Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris. He has loads of potential and could profile as a future All-SEC performer and a high NFL draft pick in the future.

At Alabama or Georgia, Shaw undoubtedly would have a great deal of success as they are highly successful programs, but at Ole Miss he can build a program rather than simply sustaining a program, that’s a nice sales pitch. With the relationship he has with Hugh Freeze, Chris Kiffin and the Rebels coaching staff and the southern hospitality he experienced at Ole Miss, the Rebels should feel awfully good about reeling in another talent from Georgia in Shaw.

I would caution them by saying he may change his mind often this summer and into the fall, but for Shaw there’s plenty to love about Ole Miss and after one visit it could not have gone any better. My crystal ball says Shaw will be saying “Hotty Toddy” and donning an Ole Miss cap on national signing day.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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