TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- One of the better feel good stories of the 2014 recruiting cycle involved a player who will likely never play a down of college football.
At 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, Elisha Shaw was a highly recruited defensive tackle out of Tucker, Ga. He had multiple scholarship offers with Alabama considered to be his favorite. But Shaw suffered a neck injury that ended his senior season, and recently learned that it's unlikely he'll ever be medically cleared to play.
Most schools backed off of Shaw once getting word of his medical status, but the Crimson Tide is awarding Shaw a medical hardship scholarship. This exemption allows Alabama to pay his tuition without him counting against the Tide's 85-player scholarship limit.
On national signing day, Shaw committed to Alabama and held a ceremony at Tucker High with 15 other athletes. He "signed" with Alabama during the ceremony.
"I give all my thanks to god for making all things possible and for letting me be strong and for all his blessings #rtr," Shaw said in a Twitter post.
Alabama will have an event-high 12 players at this year's NFL combine, according to multiple reports. A total of 335 players were invited to the combine, which begins Feb. 19 in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Crimson Tide sent 10 players to last year's combine.
Leading the way are departing seniors quarterback AJ McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley. Along with them are wide receiver Kevin Norwood, offensive guard Anthony Steen, defensive end Ed Stinson, cornerback Deion Belue and punter Cody Mandell.
All of the underclassmen who entered the draft received an invitation -- offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, linebacker Adrian Hubbard, defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and safety Vinnie Sunseri.
Three former Alabama players are projected to be taken in the first round of the draft -- Mosley, Clinton-Dix and Kouandjio.