Alabama, Auburn duke it out for Elisha Shaw, star 2014 defensive tackle recruit

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban waves to the crowd as he celebrates after the 2013 BCS Championship game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Sun Life Stadium. Alabama won 42-14. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

The recruiting cycle never really ends. Only weeks removed from bringing in the nation’s top recruiting class for the fifth time in the last six years, Alabama and coach Nick Saban already have their sights set on a potential star for the 2014 class.

However, Auburn is also in the running for the services of defensive tackle Elisha Shaw. Shaw is a 6-foot-6, 295-pound monster that is only going to get better (and bigger, for that matter) in the coming months and years. The Tucker, Ga. native already has offers on the table from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio State and others.

But the young man is planning on taking his time, making his rounds from campus to campus before making such a major decision.

Matt Scallci of AL.com reports that Shaw spent Monday at Auburn, and he liked what he saw.

“Auburn really moved up my list a lot after that visit,” Shaw said. “I get along really well with Coach (Rodney) Garner and Coach (Damyune) Craig and I think that program is on the way up. They just had a great recruiting class especially on defense and I think you’ll see them do big things in the next few years.”

But that does not mean Bama is out of the running, by any means. In fact, Shaw plans on visiting War Eagle’s Iron Bowl rival over the weekend, and he has always had the Tide in the back of his mind.

“I’ve always liked Alabama and Georgia,” Shaw said. “Alabama just seems like they are a step above everybody else right now with just about everything. Their players, their coaches, their facilities, just everything is the best of the best there.”

The recruitment of this potentially elite defensive lineman is only going to get more and more aggressive in the coming months. Georgia, while having offered the young man, has yet to really jump into the fray. However, coach Mark Richt and his recruiting staff have the natural advantage of being in Shaw’s home state.

It remains to be seen if proximity helps land Shaw in Georgia, or if one of the two Alabama state schools can wrestle him away.

Hopefully, Shaw has a better time in Tuscaloosa than AJ McCarron had recently.