Nick Saban meets with Justin Taylor, promises to “stand by his word”

Alabama's Nick Saban met with now-2013 commit Justin Taylor on Tuesday (AP)

Alabama's Nick Saban met with now-2013 commit Justin Taylor on Tuesday (AP)

Nick Saban and Justin Taylor sat across from each other for about an hour at North Atlanta High School on Tuesday. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two since it was reported that Taylor can’t sign with Alabama this year. It was surprising news for Taylor, who has been committed to Alabama since last February (he was the 7th of Alabama’s 27 commitments). The Crimson Tide wants Taylor to “grayshirt” because of a knee injury and wait to enroll in 2013, while others speculate that it was creative “roster management” by Saban. You can catch up by reading HERE and HERE and HERE. What’s the latest with Justin Taylor? He remains committed to Alabama. That’s never changed since last February. Purdue is interested but hasn’t offered a football scholarship. At this point, Taylor’s top options appear to be attending a prep school next fall or simply sitting out of school altogether until he is permitted to enroll at Alabama next January. We talked to North Atlanta football coach Stanley Pritchett, the ex-NFL RB who is also Taylor’s legal guardian.

  • How did it go? “We had a good conversation with Coach Saban. He told us exactly what the plan was with Justin. It was basically the same things he told us a couple of weeks ago on the official visit to Alabama. Coach Saban really wants him. He said he wouldn’t be coming to the school and sitting in the room if he didn’t want him. Coach Saban said Justin is part of the Alabama family. They just think it’s best for his football career to grayshirt and get his knee back right.”
  • What is Saban’s plan for Justin? “The plan is to make sure he gets some rehab for his knee. They said he can take some classes at a community college in the fall, three or six hours, where he won’t be a full-time student. Or he can go to a prep school if he wants. Actually, it was Justin who brought up the idea of a prep school. Coach Saban is fine with it as long as the doctors clear him to play. They don’t want him to get him injured again. They don’t want him playing again until he’s 100 percent. Alabama said they have contacts at prep schools if he wants to go there in the fall. But Justin is already academically qualified. He doesn’t really have to go to a prep school.”
    2013 Alabama RB commit Justin Taylor (AJC)

    2013 Alabama RB commit Justin Taylor (AJC)

  • Did Saban mention anything about the public reaction to the situation? “Yes. He said he caught a lot of flak for it and took a lot of criticism. He wasn’t mad at Justin for anything. He said stuff like this is just the nature of the beast. That’s really all that was said about it.”
  • Could Taylor still sign with Alabama next week? “I don’t think so. Now Coach Saban did say that they could bring him in down the line [with the 2012 class] at a later date if something becomes available. But he doesn’t feel like Justin’s knee is going to be healthy enough or ready to do something like that, even if a spot did open up.”
  • What’s your advice for Justin as his legal guardian? “Coach Saban made it clear he is going to stand by his word. As Justin’s guardian, I can only go by a man’s word. I’m going to hold Coach Saban to those words. There’s going to be a problem if he doesn’t stick by his word [and sign Taylor in 2013]. That’s when it would be a problem for me. As long as the kid signs next year, I’m fine with it because I only want what’s the best for Justin. This is his life and his decision. He wants to go to Alabama next year, and I’m going to support him with that decision.”

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494 comments Add your comment

Victorious Sakrete

January 25th, 2012
5:18 am

Riiiight, Saban is known to be a man of his word (LOL!). Good luck with the little Nabob Napolean from Bama, but count your change when he leaves.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 25th, 2012
5:41 am

Saban tried to pull a fast one and the kid along with his guardian busted him on it. To save face Saban called the meeting, guaranteeing the young man his scholly was his only move at this point to save face with Ga HS Coaches. Saban is slick let me tell ya.

Dunwoody Dawg

January 25th, 2012
5:46 am

Nick Saban lies to young men for living. That’s all he does. He LIES, LIES, LIES. He looks you in the face and lies. Then lies again. Thank gosh we have an honorable Christian man in Mark Richt who values honesty and integrity. I’m proud of the way he represents the university of Georgia rather than Nick Saban and Chris Ruimph the liars.

John Rocker's Black Son-In-Law

January 25th, 2012
6:24 am

Grayshirting or not, Nick Saban is the most badass mother on the planet. Dude is so driven by winning, it’s remarkable. Everyone wishes he coached their team.
If he sticks around at Alabama until he retires, they’re gonna rename the venue Bryant-Saban Stadium. Screw Denny… nobody even knows who that is anyway. If Nick had stayed at LSU, the man would already have an entire hand filled with BCS rings on each finger. He laid down such a strong foundation in the bayou that recruits are still lining up to play for what used to be a craphole football program. Even a numbskull like Les Miles can’t destroy the house that Nick Saban built.

GulfCoastDawg

January 25th, 2012
6:29 am

If Saban was not doing it for roster management reasons then you have to ask yourself this. Why did he tell Taylor he was 26 , why is he still recruiting and saying he is not done with this class? Why would he ask Taylor, a guy that has been committed for a long time to stay at home and rehab on his on dime when he could very well not get in as much rehab time as if he was in school getting rehab for free with Bama’s staff. He knows if he was rehabbing with Bama’s staff 6-7 days a week he would be ready in 5-6 months. Everyone knows Taylor would red shirt next year anyway. So this is absolutely a roster management move and is going to cost this young man a years worth of medical bills to boot.

pittsburgh George

January 25th, 2012
6:34 am

Why is Georgia so afraid of Bama? No one wants this kid but Bama. He is not 100%, so Saban wants him to enroll in to delay his enrollment for four months. What’s wrong with that? Mark Richt plays the Jesus card, yet has one of the most troubled programs in all of football.

Beyonce Knowles

January 25th, 2012
6:36 am

I don’t see what the big deal is. The kid desperately wants to play for Bama. And instead of kicking him out of the equation completely, they’re going to let him come play next year. No big deal. The kid was gonna get red-shirted his freshman year anyways.

RMikel58

January 25th, 2012
6:38 am

Politics in football? Nah………… Saban cant have other colleges pointing out what we all know and that is Saban is known to over sign every year and now he put his foot in a pot hole and has to get it out.
Catches up to you sooner or later.
This is only about damage control and image. If you dont sign on with Alabama in the early stages then theres a good chance they’ll have to withdraw you from consideration because they got a player thats rated higher than you.
Sabans a driven man and wants to win in football, recruiting and heck he’s even competitive when checking out at the grocery line.
Hes totally business and if he can trade up a recuit for better ones then he’ll do it. Alabamas lucky in alot of respects having Saban.
Coaching…….theres none better but character wise i’d say he’s on the bottom tier.

The Gatorade Bucket

January 25th, 2012
6:40 am

The kid is only a 3 star recruit. I’m wondering what it is that Saban sees in him that’s worth not throwing him to the curb completely. Perhaps he’s an under-the-radar type guy like Mark Ingram during his recruitment?

Jacket Man

January 25th, 2012
6:48 am

I have an acquaintance who was recruited by Nick Saban when he was the Head Coach at Michigan State, and he was looking them squarely in the eye (as well as his parents) and making promises in order to sign with his school instead of Southern California. Based on their faith Saban was being honest, the decision was made to sign with Michigan State.

When he got on campus, my friend said he had been blatantly lied to and that if he didn’t have to lose a year after he set foot on campus, he would have walked away immediately. While admitting Nick Saban WAS a very good football coach, my friend said he was one of the most dishonest men he had ever met and he would never want to be around him again if he could help it. In fact, he said even though Nick Saban is such a good football coach, he would NEVER want anyone he knew associated with such a person, and never recommend to a recruit that they sign with him.

Furthermore, he even pointed out that during his time at Michigan State, when the rumors began to circulate Saban was being considered for the LSU job and his team began to get nervous (this was happening just prior to their bowl game), Saban called his team together to tell them there was no truth to the matter and that he wasn’t even speaking to LSU. When the team left to board their plane and leave for the bowl game, guess what happened? They couldn’t find Nick Saban…he sneaked off to Baton Rouge without letting anyone know, leaving his team without even a hint of a goodbye. Sounds kind of like what happened when he was at Miami, now that I think about it…

[...] Saban promises Taylor to “stand by his word” | Atlanta Journal-Constitution “He said he wouldn’t be coming to the school and sitting in the room if he didn’t want him. Coach Saban said Justin is part of the Alabama family. They just think it’s best for his football career to grayshirt and get his knee back right.” [...]

[...] Taylor’s coach hears from Saban’s sensitive side: Did Saban mention anything about the public reaction to the [...]

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
7:19 am

It’s a shame when a kid and the man he looks to for advice can’t look a man in the face and ask…”We were the #8 signing in the class, not #26. We’re making the sacrifice here, not you. We’d better be the first 2013 offer.”

News | MrSEC

January 25th, 2012
7:21 am

[...] a good chance Taylor accepts Saban’s offer to wait to join Alabama in 2013. If that happens, Saban better have a scholarship ready, according to Stanley Pritchett, Taylor’s coach and legal guardian.“Coach Saban made it [...]

Bulldog Briscoe

January 25th, 2012
7:23 am

For Saban– this was DAMAGE CONTROL. Thanks to the publicity in the AJC, this guy had to get his butt over to Atlanta and minimize the damage. Hey Saban, quit “overrecruiting” players. To tell this boy he was no. 26 or whatever (when he was the Tide’s 7th recruit) is insulting to anyone but a moron. What a jackass.

[...] a good chance Taylor accepts Saban’s offer to wait to join Alabama in 2013. If that happens, Saban better have a scholarship ready, according to Stanley Pritchett, Taylor’s coach and legal guardian.“Coach Saban made it [...]

Blackoutanyone?

January 25th, 2012
7:27 am

WHERE IS COACH MARK RICHT OR COACH PAUL JOHNSON WITH THE OFFERS THEY HAD FOR THIS KID PRIOR TO HIS INJURY? If Taylor wasn’t injured do you people really believe UGA and GT wouldn’t be recruiting him? What a bunch of hypocrites. I’ll say this… the AJC is putting up more of a fight to keep Georgia’s best talent instate than either GT or UGA. This is what the 3rd or 4th spin job article on this non story. UGA did the exact same thing a few years ago with Xzavier Ward. The reason CMR doesn’t do it as much is because he has no clue how to manage his roster… watch how many walk ons he will have to give scholarships to because he will be under 85 in the fall. Folks when you’re on top… everyone wants to take you down. LOL A situation most Bama fans are accustomed to.

ROLL TIDE!! 2011 National Champions!!!

SuperB

January 25th, 2012
7:29 am

The blogger relating the Michigan State story on Saban is on the mark. This “leader” of young men might win games, but his word isn’t worth much. I wouldn’t let my son commit to Saban- since that offer might be withdrawn later on. Saban’s word isn’t worth squat.

RedandBlackDawg

January 25th, 2012
7:31 am

Sometimes ethics are not a strong consideration for some coaches. I am glad that CMR is honest and upfront. Sure people will complain that Saban won the big one and CMR hasn’t done it yet. but in the long run, I think it is great to be proud of the University, and a coach goes a long way in doing that.
If UGA finishes in the top 10 this year or goes even further, we will get a lot of the recruits that we have to fight for each year. Kids want to play for the current hot team and I understand that, but their parents or guardians, also have to think about something other than just football. If they wish to disregard how their kids might be treated and watch sometimes anyway, how their kids can sometimes get thrown to the side, then UGA is probably not the school for them. If they want a chance to grow, not only as a football player, but as a young adult as well, they couldn’t ask for a better man to lead them, than CMR.
For some folks on here, all that is important is that UGA win everything and that’s all that is important to them. For me, I think it is equally if not more important, that UGA be a school you can be proud of, and not just on the football field, but how people are treated by the school and coaches. UGA is an institute that folks should be proud of, and is the true flagship of the state of Georgia. People tend to stereotype southern schools and denigrate just about everything that they do. UGA stands apart in that, it is a great institute of learning, can be competitive in sports and is run honestly. To me that is equally as important as being number 1 in football or any other sport.

Say Whut

January 25th, 2012
7:33 am

Blackout” what an appropriate name for brain freeze. GT and UGA didn’t continue to recruit Justin after he committed to Alabama. It’s Saban that “grayshirts” so don’t blame Johnson or Richt. this is about Saban, not them.

BCSEC

January 25th, 2012
7:34 am

It ticks UGA fans off that kids will stand in line to go play at Bama, But RIcht is a good guy, that will buy him another 5 year extension. woof woof.

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
7:34 am

Blackout…

Obviously winning football games mean more to you that playing games with the lives of 18 year old kids…

Say Whut

January 25th, 2012
7:40 am

FL Jacket is on the mark. Saban wins games but he is slimy. I have a former business associate I hadn’t seen for a while. I ran into him at Hartsfield one day and asked how his son was doing? He said he was making good grades and was enjoying his fraterniity. I said, “He must be enjoying UGA.” He said, “No, he is going to Alabama. He didn’t get accepted to Georgia.”

aubie1

January 25th, 2012
7:42 am

Why would anyone want to go the UGA, They can’t even keep their dogs alive much less play for something. UGA- where a top 3 recruiting classes will get you 3 losses even with a slack schedule. LMAO….

RJ

January 25th, 2012
7:43 am

Still trying to figure out how Saban lied to him. Reading that spuds like he was completely honest and upfront with the kid.

BCSEC

January 25th, 2012
7:45 am

@aubie1, make that 4

Dap01

January 25th, 2012
7:51 am

That is a funny statement by Saban: “stand by my word”.

Blackoutanyone?

January 25th, 2012
7:58 am

FL jacket… yes your reading a college football recruiting blog because your concerened about the lives of 18 year old boys. Whatever freakshow.

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
7:58 am

RJ, here are the 2 options with Saban…

1) He is a dishonest man in charge of teaching and molding teenagers and young adults.

2) He is a slimy, creepy, “don’t-care-who-I-step-over” phobic man, but he’s honest about it.

UGA Lee

January 25th, 2012
8:01 am

Why does the state of Georgia care/worry so much about a coach from another state who we don’t play but every 4-6 years?

Awww, I forget the secret knock!

January 25th, 2012
8:04 am

WTF else do people want? He can come in Jan, but not Aug. And it’s not like he’s learning of this IN Aug. You butthurt Georgia and GT fans make me LAUGH.

YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES. If Richt came to your son and said “Jan good, Aug no good,” you’d ALL say OK.

Take your “morals” and “ethics” and stick ‘em. You HAD your chance to can Richt but you’d rather be moral and ethical, whatever that is.

3-12 Against Ranked Teams

January 25th, 2012
8:09 am

@RedandBlack….Oh geez….here comes the same ‘ol Richt’s a “moral” man and wouldn’t do something like this crap again.

That’s why we perrenially win the Fulmer’s Cup for the most arrests….we can be proud of Richt for that, right??

It’s brainwashed idiots like RedandBlack why we’ll never win a NC title

FL Jacket

January 25th, 2012
8:10 am

Blackout…

Make whatever personal attacks you feel like to justify your warped sense of priorities. The odds are Justin Taylor doesn’t make the NFL, and he’s been so warped into thinking he has to put his life and education on hold because of the promises of a ruthless man who could care less about his fortunes.

3-12 Against Ranked Teams

January 25th, 2012
8:10 am

Could you ever imagine a picture on this blog where it’s CMR holding the Crystal Trophy???

I think not….

daddo

January 25th, 2012
8:15 am

I’m sorry, our national championships can’t hear yall.

Chuck

January 25th, 2012
8:23 am

Yes, Saban was completely honest with the kid…

Unless you count that part where he offered a spot on the 2012 signing class about a year ago and the kid accepted. After that point he’s been completely honest.

Saban sounds like a sociopath.

Concrete Pete

January 25th, 2012
8:24 am

I hope the next coach honors Sabans agreement. Next year, Saban will have had all he can take of the typical low life Bammer cult members and will take Jerry Jones’ 10 million per year and partial ownership of the Cowboys. Garrett is gonna throw up in his mouth again and Jones fires him for Saban. Book it!

Chuck

January 25th, 2012
8:26 am

Yes daddo, you’d be crazy to have sold your collective soul for anything that wasn’t very large and very shiny.

Robert

January 25th, 2012
8:31 am

Saban has never not kept his word about bringing a kid back. Ask Wilson love. Ask William Vlauchos. Ask any of the many Juco placements. You guys are stirring for UGA. When Taylor resigns in 2013 you guys won’t do a story on this. Because then your jazz will be ruined.

I swear I’ve never in my life seen such a worthless rag of a homer newspaper than the AJC. You are nothing more than an extension of the UGA athletic department. OF course you haven’t mentioned that the “fine Christian man” Mark Richt dumped this kid like a sack of trash when he blew out his knee. OR that they “encouraged” a kid recently to decommit. You won’t report that because it won’t fit your agenda of your beloved UGA. We wouldn’t want the fine Christian man to look man.

Of course lets just go ahead and say what this is about. Reuben Foster and Robert Nkemdeche. They aren’t going to UGA no matter how many articles you run.

Chi Town

January 25th, 2012
8:35 am

Jawja is a joke of a program.

What kid would want to live in that dump of a town anyways.

What a cesspool.

Concrete Pete

January 25th, 2012
8:36 am

Hate to rain on your parade (Ok I’m lying) Robert, but Foster and Nkemdiche are dogs. Book it.

RedandBlackDawg

January 25th, 2012
8:40 am

3-12,

First off some folks have morals and smarts. Two quantities you obviously lack a great deal.
Second,: Do you expect a coach to baby sit 24/7. UGA’s get caught because they have a policy not to not hide anything concerning when a kid gets into hot water. A lot of schools cover it up, but eventually it comes out.
third: When you have the education I have then maybe you might be able to call me a moron, but obviously, you wouldn’t survive in my discipline and I could probably still beat you in academics and I am 63 years old.
Fourth: Your comments lead me to believe that if you were any more stupid, you would require watering twice a week to survive.
Now go away little boy, and let big people that have something reasonable to type, do their thing. You are obviously a very lonely person, who feels the need to try and insult a person, for what they believe. Only problem there, is you haven’t earned the right to insult me or for that fact, any other person, that has a life.

Roland

January 25th, 2012
8:43 am

Geesh what a worthless homer UGA rag.

Brown Dog

January 25th, 2012
8:45 am

I don’t think the Taylor situation was handled well. Glad that all the parties involved seem satisfied where this is heading.

sorry this is distracting so many UGA fans from celebrating your 2013 BCS Championship.

Robert

January 25th, 2012
8:47 am

lol. RN doesn’t even like UGA. Not even considering them. The only reason that he hasn’t told the fine Christian man to take a hike is to humor all of the UGA fans around him. He’s trying to be nice.

Crimson Crush

January 25th, 2012
8:47 am

Big LOLs at some of the comment commandos talking like THEY somehow directly influenced Coach Saban … Some of you should post your phone #s so he can call you up and ask for advice ,,, silly Jackholes ;-)

W

January 25th, 2012
8:50 am

Lot’s of crying here. You guys keep doing things the way you do them…..enjoy mediocrity. You are quick to point fingers at BAMA, but your soft coach has problems year after year with lack of production, trouble with the law, etc. why don’t you move to the acc and join that pillow fight; keep talking about your high standards. The only thing you guys are good at is thinking you are better than you are. You better win the east next year with that pansy schedule. Look forward to your follow up story Michael. Keep trying.

THWGT

January 25th, 2012
8:54 am

We’ll see come Junuary 2013 if Saban sticks to his word. Rather. I suspect numbers will again be an issue and Saban will claim the kid’s knee hasn’t healed in rehab… I remember when Murray broke his ankle his senior year in high school Richt immediately and publicly honored UGA’s commitment to him. There are numerous other instances of Richt doing the same for recruits who have suffered post commitment injuries. I like Richt’s stance on “Grey Shirting” in that it’s ok if the school is up front and honoest with the recruit on the front end of the process. I have every confidence that UGA will return to national prominence competing for the conference and national championship again soon. I am proud to support the great University of Georgia through its alumni association and the Hartman Fund and I look forward to many more great years with coach Richt and company at the helm.

Blackoutanyone?

January 25th, 2012
8:56 am

Fljacket… Please stop with the holier than thou bs posts. I believe you shot the first “personal” attack my way as you don’t have any knowledge of my personal priorities. I feel this is a non story. Taylor is still commited to Bama and will enroll 6 months late to rehab his knee. You and your kind hate that Saban is taking over your state in recruiting and the only lame argument you have is he’s a mean man. Saban has gray shifted several players who are either in the NFL or will be soon. J.P. Wilson and William valchos come to mind. I feel Saban should be commended as it seems he is the ONLY coach out there holding a scholarship for this kid. A fact that seems to be overlooked by the AJC but surely hasn’t by Justin Taylor.

BAMABABE

January 25th, 2012
8:57 am

alright AJC….get to work spinning this to make BAMA look good and try to get Mark Richt to sweep in and save this poor kid from the horrible fate of waiting till he’s healthy to enroll at one of the best schools and football rpograms in the country….we know ur on the UGA payroll, just come out and admit it…