Florida State appears to be making a strong push for 4-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw, but unless something drastic happens, don't expect the Seminoles to out-recruit Alabama or Georgia.
Jimbo Fisher and his staff are certainly players in this race, but for all intents and purposes, Florida State has a lot of ground to make up on. The good news is, according to a report via Radi Nabulsi of ESPN.com, the Seminoles have come on strong as of late:
“Florida State has come up to my top three now,” Shaw said. “I have a good relationship with Coach O’Dell [Haggins], and they came up to my top three. Georgia and Alabama are still going to be the top two. I really like those two. I mean, I grew up a fan of those two. So, I don’t know if Florida State can move up a little bit more, but I know at the end of the day Georgia and Alabama are probably going to be duking it out.”
Shaw went on to discuss his top three schools, via Nabulsi, who asked Shaw to discuss the first thing he thought of for each school:
Alabama: “Winning, working hard, preparing me to maybe go to the league and whatever it takes to win. Alabama is a hard working team. They just get out there and win. I’m pretty sure Georgia and everybody else work hard too, but you can tell how hard they work how they’re winning.”
Georgia: “Home. Being taken care of for life, you know. They win too. They work hard, too."
Florida State: “It’s kind of far off, but the surroundings, the campus, I love it. Also, at Florida State, if I go there, I can make a very big name for myself and the school because I can say I outshine the defensive tackles at Florida State. I’m not saying they don’t have good defensive tackles, but I’m saying I have a good chance of going in my freshman year. And Florida State is also losing a lot of people.”
It's hard to deny the progress Florida State is making on the recruiting trail with Shaw, so I'll give credit where it's due. That said, it's also hard to deny the advantages both Alabama and Georgia have for his commitment.
Alabama is basically a no-brainer. Shaw could fit in as a 0-technique in the 3-4 at 6'4.5'', 295 pounds, and as long as Nick Saban is at the helm—the Crimson Tide will keep competing for national championships.
Georgia will have to work hard to overcome the LSUs, Alabamas and Floridas of the world in order to get to a championship game, but Mark Richt's program is poised for great things, and Shaw would be a major in-state recruit for the Bulldogs to bring in. One has to believe that he's a priority for Georgia.
He's from Tucker, Georgia, which is just over an hour away from Athens. The Bulldogs appear to have quite a sizable "home-field advantage" for Tucker. If you need proof of that, just look at the first word that he thinks of, per Nabulsi: "Home."
If Florida State wanted to make a big run for Shaw, Fisher will have to push the chance to really stand out and play as a freshman, as that appears to be a big reason why the defensive tackle is interested in the Seminoles.
Out of the five recruiting experts that made predictions on where he will end up, via the 247Sports Crystal Ball, all five picked Georgia, and I tend to agree. The Bulldogs have a big advantage being the home state program, and you can tell that it means a big deal to Shaw, at least according to the earlier quotes.
It's not as if Florida State doesn't have a good pitch or isn't a draw, so don't take it personally, Seminoles fans. This recruiting race just seems like Georgia's to lose.