UPDATE: Justin Taylor still pledged to Alabama for 2013 but considering options

Nick Saban told Justin Taylor's coach he didn't like the NCAA's new 25-scholarship rule (AP)

Nick Saban told Justin Taylor's coach he didn't like the NCAA's new 25-scholarship rule (AP)

Here are Monday’s updates on Justin Taylor:

He’s the running back from North Atlanta High School who has been committed to Alabama for nearly a year but was told by Nick Saban this weekend that he can’t sign with the Crimson Tide until 2013. Go here to read the recap.

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound Taylor is considering the option of signing with another school in two weeks, according to multiple media reports, although it’s unclear on whether or not Taylor is still committed to Alabama for 2013. Here’s what Taylor told al.com’s Matt Scalici:

“At first I was cool with it but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it,” Taylor said. “I have already missed an entire season of football because of my injury. I decided I just can’t miss another season. It’s no hard feelings against Alabama but I just decided it’s best for me if I go somewhere that I can be at least practicing with the team this year, even if I have to redshirt. I haven’t talked to any other schools yet but I will start looking right now.”

UPDATE: We asked Taylor for clarification on whether or not he was still committed to Alabama. He responded via text message on late Monday night: “Yes, I’m still committed [to Alabama].”

Back to the story: Taylor’s high school coach and legal guardian is Stanley Pritchett, who played fullback in the NFL for nine seasons, including a stint with the Atlanta Falcons. We asked Pritchett some questions on Monday night in order to get more insight:

What do you think is the primary reason for Alabama telling Justin Taylor he can't sign until 2013?

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  • What’s your understanding of the situation? “If a kid has been committed for a year, you would think the college would honor it. But I understand college football is a business. When you hit the 25-scholarship limit, the colleges have to do something. It’s a hard situation for me because I’m also the legal guardian for Justin. I have to look at it from all sides. I’m upset about it. I kind of understand where Alabama is coming from because unfortunately he hurt this knee. But I was mad when [Alabama assistant Chris Rumph] called me about it two weeks ago. He knew I was mad. We played together at South Carolina. He knows me, and he knows how I feel about this. He assured me about [signing in 2013]. I left it up to Justin. If he still wanted to go to Alabama under those circumstances, that was up to him. For me, personally, I would go to a school where I am wanted. That’s just me.”
  • One of the benefits for a recruit to commit early is that it almost always protects the recruit’s scholarship offer in case he is injured before signing a letter-of-intent. Was this scenario discussed with Alabama when Justin committed last February? “To be honest with you, I don’t know. I’m not sure how all of all of this works nowadays. I’m an old-school guy. When I came out of high school 20 years ago, we didn’t commit until late our senior year. I’m new to ‘committing early’ situation. I guess Alabama got too many commitments and that’s why Justin has to grayshirt. It’s a tough situation. When they told me about it two weeks ago, I was mad.”
  • When Justin injured his knee last August, did Alabama mention the possibility of a “grayshirt” and waiting until next year to sign? “No, they never said anything like that at all. They were good about it. They made it clear they still wanted him this year. They said they were going to stick by him and honor the scholarship. They kept saying that over and over – ‘We’re going to stick by him.’”
  • When was the first time Alabama mentioned the possibility of delaying his offer until next year? “It was two weeks ago from Coach Rumph. We never had talked about it before at all. [Rumph] explained how they would have a spot for him next year, and I don’t think they would do this to him again next year. Then again, you never know, because college football is still a business. They might decide to go in a different direction. You never know.”
  • What is your opinion on what happened between Alabama and Justin? “I think it was both Justin’s injury and that Alabama has too many commitments. But Coach Saban said it was just the injury. They told me they talked to their trainers and the doctor who did the surgery and that Justin was on schedule with his rehab but he wasn’t really where he needed to be. I guess it was because he wasn’t getting every-day treatment. He goes 2-3 times per week but not every day like they do in college or the NFL. They felt like he was kind of behind on his rehab. I don’t think he’s behind on his rehab. He’s jogging and doing everything he’s supposed to be doing. The first few months after a torn ACL, you can’t take it too fast because you might re-injure it. After Alabama told me all of that stuff, I called his trainer and she thinks he is progressing well. I don’t know. Alabama told me it was because of his knee. They didn’t feel like he would be ready to come in August and compete. But I guess you could say it was both. Look at their number of commitments [27], and they’re still recruiting kids. You know it’s going to be about the numbers. They’re trying to say the knee but it’s really about the scholarship numbers, in my opinion … I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed with the whole process. If a kid commits and the college accepts it, then the college should honor it.”
    Will Justin Taylor wait until 2013 to sign with Alabama? Will he sign elsewhere in two weeks? (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

    Will Justin Taylor wait until 2013 to sign with Alabama? Will he sign elsewhere in two weeks? (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

  • Taylor said he was “90 percent” recovered right now and will be fully healthy by the summer. Is that accurate? “He’s jogging. I don’t know if he’s at 90-percent but he just started working out again with the football team this week. I think he’d be able to play next year, but I’m not a doctor so I can’t make that call. I know his physical therapist thinks he’ll be fine by August. She thinks he is where he needs to be. She said he’s coming along so well that he might be able to run track this spring.”
  • Did Alabama offer to help Justin find a job this fall? “I wasn’t with Justin every time he talked with the Alabama coaches. But that never came up in any of the conversations I was present for. No.”
  • You were with Justin during some of his conversations with Saban this past weekend. What stands out the most? “Coach Saban explained everything and never said anything about the scholarship numbers. Well, the only thing he did say was that the NCAA had a rule about signing 25. He didn’t like the rule or whatever, blah blah blah, and all that. He said this was because of Justin’s knee and nothing else. I asked Coach Saban about the grayshirting. I said ‘What does this mean? What do you want him to do from summer time until December?’ He said Justin would stay in Atlanta, that he would be committed to Alabama but that he could be recruited by anybody. They said he couldn’t go to Alabama yet but that he could take some classes at a community college as a part-time student while getting more rehab. I wanted to know about all of that because that will be two years out of football for Justin. I told Justin ‘If you’re good with that, then I’ll support you.’ Personally, I wouldn’t be good with that, though. I would go to a Plan B if it was me.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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526 comments Add your comment

Charles

January 16th, 2012
9:17 pm

Another Saban player PROCESSED. Note to parents and coaches of players in GA. This could easily be the young man you care about.

Great coach, absolute sleezeball human being – Tricky Nicky

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:18 pm

SECIsFootball

I’m sure bama will get a great class, when you get 30 commitments and get to chose the ones you want and kick the rest to the curb!
There is no way Saban wants this kid! He wants him to decommit and be done with him the offer he gave him (sign this napkin) bull crap prom is is a joke!

Dewnsav

January 16th, 2012
9:18 pm

Gee, got 14…you sound like one bad dude…

Bell

January 16th, 2012
9:20 pm

@John i completely agree with you…i know tech and UGA fans go at it all the time but you are right, both Coach Richt and Coach Johnson are honorable. Justin should listen to Coach Stanley and find someone who wants him.

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:21 pm

Dawg48….We can only sign 25 so your arguement there is a failure. We only singed 22 last year and still had a better class than UGA. BAMA is at #1 on Rivals now and will likely have 23 total if we lose 3 guys who may not quilify. Please try again.

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:21 pm

SECIsFootball
January 16th, 2012
9:15 pm

Ramblin Man…again I ask…which 11 players were “cut” last year? Which 11 were cut the year before? Where is your proof that Saban doesn’t recruit ethically? My guess is you cannot answer a single one of these questions. Prove me wrong.

Proof that saban does recruit unethically.
http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2012/01/16/update-justin-taylor-looking-at-options-after-being-told-he-cant-sign-with-alabama-yet/?cp=2#comment-200280

Tdawg

January 16th, 2012
9:21 pm

indy being with all due respect you don’t know what the crap you are talking about. The big 10 schools don’t. Georgia doesn’t and I suppose that before to long the Flordia fans will be calling you a liar.Cause last I time I checked, Flordia frowns on over recruiting also. You right about the Alabama schools doing it, the Mississippi schools also, Tennessee, South Carolina does also. Some of the big 12 schools. Not sure about the pac 10 schools. I don’t think that they adhere to these practices though nor does the big east although I am not 100 percent sure about them and the ACC, maybe a couple of them do. So your lame excuse that all the top programs do this is total BS. It you think that coaches being there and protecting the kids is such a joke then why don’t these cowards (coaches) have the guts to tell these kids parents that they are not there to protect their kids. Oh, I forgot. It’s because it is much easier to lie to them.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:21 pm

Kiplinger: The best values in public colleges

“We’ve retooled our rankings to give more weight to criteria we consider crucial to academic value, including the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Each category measures a college’s ability to keep students engaged and on track for graduation.”

UGA: #6

Mulligan U (Bama): still looking

http://money.msn.com/college-savings/the-best-values-in-public-colleges-kiplinger.aspx?page=2

SLAWDAWG

January 16th, 2012
9:22 pm

Nick Saban’s TRUE COLORS come shining through! Way to go Nick!

LakeDawg

January 16th, 2012
9:22 pm

Dawg48

You’re right. Saban is just hoping this kid goes away. Tricky Nicky, hmmm. I like the sound of that.

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:24 pm

Only 25….?
Bama has three EE in this class that moves up to 28, if you read the first article were the kid said Saban told him he would be # 26 then Saban lied to him about the numbers. Bama fans have been on the recruiting blogs for DAYS saying they can sign 28 but Saban told him he was # 26.

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:29 pm

SECIsFootball
If bama can only sign 25……..
http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=9&c=8&toinid=745&yr=2012
There are 27 kids committed on this list including Justin Taylor. Who will be the next kid to get kicked to the curb?

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:29 pm

Dawg 48….Lets do some math. We have 25 now with the decommitment of JT. We have 3 in this class which will back count. That puts us at 22. We will accept commitments from 2 more kids right now. Eddie Goldman and Jameis Winston. Let say we get both of these guys (which we wont), that puts us at 24. We have 1 kid we are confident wont qualify and one who is on the fence. That puts us back at 22. You are allowed to sign 25 total and you are also allowed to back count 3 kids in addition to the 25. Lasy year the same rules was in place and with the 3 we back counted last year, our signing class had only 22 kids in it. Hope that helps. But again, I know you guys dont want facts because they kill your arguements.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:33 pm

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:34 pm

25 + 3EE = 28 total scholarships.

D. Ellis

January 16th, 2012
9:35 pm

SEC-Good post. I will say that Saban has “rocessed” lmost 30% ( 27%) of his non graduating roster to fitthos over signed classes of the last 2 years ( not oversigned due to breaking rules but over signed as to an amount of open ships at the time of signing which I think is pretty accurate. At that same time I think Alabama as a program has handed out more medical hardships than the entire SEC combined during his tenure. I think those are pretty good numbers. Could be wrong though as I have read it on other blogs and on line stories things of that nature. Is it illegal or rule breaking no not at all so i got no problem with it, but it is a bit out of the norm.

Again good conversating, It’s hard to find these on here. Good luck on signing day. Bama is going to have a great class again

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:35 pm

We will accept commitments from 2 more kids right now. Eddie Goldman and Jameis Winston

That just goes to show you saban kicked him to the curb! He said no room for you but we have room for these kids.

Ginger

January 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

Well–do not like the way Saban operates…It is wrong…If they offer a kid and he commits–it should be good…..I admire Coach Richt—when Benedict OL from Jax hurt his knee–the UGA offer was still good….then Benedict came to UGA at the time he was supposed to…stay at UGA 2or 3 years…then Benedict disagreed with strength & conditioning Coach T. and Richt gave Benedict his unconditional release and Benedict is at Virginia Tech–now I think…..Coach Richt is a class act.

Justin–I hope you find a good school and you can…Lots of schools in Georgia—UGA is probably full at RB…don’t know about Tech…but there is Georgia Southern, Valdosta State, Georgia State and other schools in the Southeast…..get a good school and if you are a great football player and you will do well and get the shot at NFL…..but get that Education–first and foremost…Education to make a living is so important….forget Alabama and go where you are wanted…you will be happier and get that education…so important

rotten

January 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

saban and alabama—crooked to the core. winning at the university of football is all that matters. Pay him another million.

Jordan Jenkins

January 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

This is why my Mom wanted me to go to a school that she wouldn’t have to worry about me. She could smell the venom on that snake’s breath.

bama who?

January 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

got 14? Come on over to Georgia and prove you’re bad dude. Just tell mommy and daddy you’ll be home a little late. Just remember the time change when crossing the border. Don’t want you to be late for din din. Thanks. Don’t forget the trophy will be at a wal mart near you soon.

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:37 pm

Jordan Jenkins…Just stay away from Isaiah Crowell and the weed he seems to enjoy.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:38 pm

clintatl

January 16th, 2012
9:38 pm

Dawg48,
Bama only signed 22 last year. If you go and read the rules on the 25 scholarship limit there are provisions that allow you to go over the 25 number. One of those being ‘back counting’ early enrollees to the previous class if you didn’t reach 25 in that previous class. Since Bama only signed 22 last year, they can ‘back count’ 3 of the early enrollees from this year to last years class. So in reality they can sign 28 kids while back counting 3 to last years class. Also, they have at least 2 verbals who all reports have said they won’t qualify academically and therefore won’t be able to sign.

BobDawg

January 16th, 2012
9:41 pm

Didn’t CMR a few years ago help place a recruit that the Ga Regents would not allow into UGA with Arkansas??? Batman was his nickname and a stud DB…. He had committed to UGA and when he could not get in… Coach Richt helped find him another school… You would think Saban would do something like that and not try and delay him for another year… Talk about Brass Balls!

Ramblin Man

January 16th, 2012
9:42 pm

SEC I am not going to list every kid. Go to oversigning.com and it is right there to read. How many other schools have that many medical hardship or transfer to another school? How many actual available scholarships does Saban have for this year? Face facts your coach gives kids tryouts and nothing more.

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:43 pm

clintatl

Thank you. That’s what I have been trying to say to this guy. So Saban lied to the kid.

How did Nick Saban explain it to you? “Coach Saban said he wished he would’ve been able to tell me this in August instead of now.  He said the only reason he can’t sign me is because he can’t sign 26 people. They can only sign 25 people. He said he was going to sign me with the next class. But he also said he would sign a piece of paper to show that they are keeping their word – they are going to sign it and they want me to sign it to make sure I know I still have my scholarship.”

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:43 pm

Ginger….is that you Coach Richt? Handle on here gives you away! UGA was recruiting Justin Taylor before he was injured and then disappeared. This happened well before Marshall and Girly committed.

As for Coach Richt…he is such a good guy and role model that UGA has had such a HUGE # of players arrested over the last 5-6 years. Yet, Saban is not a moral or ethical guy especially in light of what he does with his charities for children and with all the work he did for the city of Tuscaloosa after the tornado hit? Just curious, is this the same Coach Richt that UGA fans turned on after losing your opening 2 games this year?

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:43 pm

Classic Saban

“We have so many seniors; we have some guys going out for the draft. Nobody really knows how many guys we had on scholarship last year, but it wasn’t 85, I can tell you that.”

A coach doesn’t know how many players are on scholarship? BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/02/04/saban-oversigning/index.html#ixzz1jgCI6fFY

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:45 pm

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

“If there’s inaccurate information out there, Coach Saban, by all means help us clear it up.

We have some people that could not finish the season that will probably not be able to continue to play, that will be replaced, and we have several players that can graduate and may not come back for their fifth year, who have been redshirted. When you add all those things up, plus guys we have that may not qualify, it is not fair to criticize the numbers.

By “not able to continue to play,” Saban is referring to players who have suffered injuries so severe they might be granted medical hardships. Those players maintain their scholarships to the school but are no longer part of the team. Saban has done this with at least 12 players during his four years in Tuscaloosa, which raises red flags considering Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, for example, has placed just four players on hardship scholarships in his entire 10-year tenure. Do Alabama players suffer debilitating injuries at a far greater rate than Ohio State players? Not likely.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/02/04/saban-oversigning/index.html#ixzz1jgCuVT6q

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:47 pm

More professional maneuvers by Saban:

The counterpoint to that is receiver recruit Daryl Collins, who originally committed to the Tide last March but signed with Kentucky on Wednesday because he would have had to grayshirt at Alabama. Was Saban up front with him about the possibility? “I didn’t think I was going to be grayshirted,” Collins said Wednesday. “It affected [my decision] big time.” Does that qualify as “creating an opportunity for a guy to come here, not taking one away?”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/02/04/saban-oversigning/index.html#ixzz1jgDQzolN

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:48 pm

Ramblin Man….Several points. First, I knew that was the answer I would be given. You should have said I dont know rather that a web site who speculates the details of these medical redshirt. As I said, I am sure James Andrews puts his reputation on the line just because Nick Saban says he has to. I am sure he worried about his job with Alabama because no other school would want a guy like him.

As for his tryout, you may be right. But the players know their scholarship is a one year deal. They are told this in recruiting. Last year Christian Jones was quoted in an article saying as such. If its ok to take away an academic scholarship because a kid is not performing, why is it not ok for a sports scholarship to be taken when they are not performing?

As for how many scholarships BAMA has this year, I dont know. All I know is that Nick Saban will NOT break the 25 limit who can enroll in this coming class. FACT.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:50 pm

This beautifully explains the difference between Richt and Saban.

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/tag/medical-hardship/

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:50 pm

The Grinch….your obsession with the 2011 College Football National Champs is inspirational. Keep up the good work.

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:50 pm

The Grinch…You know what also describes the relationship between Richt and Saban….CHAMPIONSHIPS!

The Game

January 16th, 2012
9:50 pm

Sure Saban doesn’t like the new rule about oversigning, now he has to cut players before signing day instead of having tryouts in spring and cutting in the summer to get down to 85 scholarships for fall. Brandon Greene better show more than he did in the high school all star game next year or he won’t last long before Saban cuts him.

Ramblin Man

January 16th, 2012
9:51 pm

SEC how do explain the fact that saban has signed 119 recruits over the past four years with nowhere near that many available scholarships. Just because you can sign 25 does not mean you have 25 scholarships available.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:51 pm

Who was asking for names?

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, Nick Saban’s medical hardship numbers are way above the norm, and then when former players were asked about those medical hardships and whether or not they felt pressured to take them the players revealed that they were pressured and that they thought the medical hardship was loophole used to bring in better players.

Three Alabama players who’ve taken these exemptions say they believe the team uses the practice as a way to clear spots for better players by cutting players it no longer wants. These players said they believe Mr. Saban and his staff pressure some players to take these scholarships even though their injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant keeping them off the field.

“I’m still kind of bitter,” said former Alabama linebacker Chuck Kirschman, who took a medical scholarship last year. Mr. Kirschman said Mr. Saban encouraged him to accept the scholarship because of a back problem that he believes he could have played through. “It’s a business,” Mr. Kirschman said. “College football is all about politics. And this is a loophole in the system.”

Jacket Man

January 16th, 2012
9:52 pm

Anyone who thinks this isn’t a business and the coaches don’t tell these kids what they want them to hear to get them on board needs to get their heads examined. I am acquainted with a former player from Michigan State who played when Saban was Head Coach and Todd Grantham was his position Coach.

He said when he was recruited by these two, he was sold a bill of goods and they both lied to his parents. He also said that while they may have been good football coaches, he would never recommend anyone play for either of them.

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:53 pm

The Game….Brandon Greene will be a good one at Alabama. He is not interested in UGA because he want to play on a team that can win a championship. However, Tyler Love disagrees with your comments.

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:53 pm

SECIsFootball

Go to bed little buddy…..you lost the fight! Snuggle up to your Saban doll and go to sleep!

Dawg48

January 16th, 2012
9:55 pm

I hope bama is committed to Green as Green is to Bama.

LakeDawg

January 16th, 2012
9:56 pm

“Any player that has left this program prematurely has created his own exit route. He’s created his own conditions for leaving, if that makes sense. Whether they are academic in terms of not doing what he needed to do academically, whether it is some violation of team or school policy, some of those things we are not allowed to talk about.”

We get that some players will inevitably run into academic or disciplinary troubles, and that a coach is well within his rights to cut such players loose. What we don’t get is how Saban is magically able to project exactly how many such players will run amok each year so he knows how many scholarships he can afford to give out to recruits.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/02/04/saban-oversigning/index.html#ixzz1jgFW51vzEnter your comments here

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
9:56 pm

The Grinch…I remember Charlie Kirchman. High school teammate of Tim Tebow. Came to BAMA and had 2-3 years of ongoing back injuries that kept him from even practicing. He was put on medical hardship, worked as a student coach (just like Taylor Pharr still is) and got his degree from UA. Was never going to play in the NFL but you got me, we really ruined this guys life.

I asked for names and you brought me one name. If it happens all the time….average of 11 ever year as someone claimed….give me nameS.

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:57 pm

SECIsFootball
January 16th, 2012
9:50 pm

You know a good distinguishing feature between UGA and Mulligan U fans? UGA fans have teeth.

Ramblin Man

January 16th, 2012
9:59 pm

SEC are you checking all the facts you wanted?

The Grinch

January 16th, 2012
9:59 pm

SECIsFootball

Did you graduate or even attend Mulligan U?

boots

January 16th, 2012
10:00 pm

Nick Saban is all about Nick Saban. Not about Alabama. Not about an education. Not about the player or their family. Honestly, he is to college football what Barack Obama is to freedom and liberty.

SECIsFootball

January 16th, 2012
10:00 pm

Dawg48….You never presented me a spec of proof so I am not sure how I “lost the fight”. You have no proof, only your opinion and your opinion contains actually no facts at all. Hope you enjoy watching UGA stew in mediocrity while UA keeps winning titles.

Dawg gone Dawg bone

January 16th, 2012
10:00 pm

Billy The Kid is an American hero…….. But he is still a murderer.