Dalvin Tomlinson’s connection to Alabama ‘grayshirt scandal’ (UPDATED)

Dalvin Tomlinson, who picked Alabama over Georgia Tech and UGA on signing day, was not connected to the Crimson Tide’s “grayshirting” scandal, according to his coach.

Two longtime Alabama commitments (both recovering from knee injuries) were told only weeks before signing day by Nick Saban that they couldn’t sign with the Crimson Tide this year. Both were given the option to “grayshirt” or delay enrolling at Alabama in 2013.

If you commit to Nick Saban, it’s safe unless you get injured or Alabama has the opportunity to upgrade at your position before you officially sign the paperwork (AP)

What we learned: If you commit to Nick Saban, it’s safe unless you get injured or Alabama has the opportunity to upgrade at your position before you officially sign the paperwork (AP)

Justin Taylor, a running back from North Atlanta High School, was apparently no longer needed after Alabama upgraded at the position when 5-star RB TJ Yeldon flipped from Auburn to the Crimson Tide. Taylor, who missed most of his senior season with a knee injury, ended up signing with Kentucky and had some strong comments for Saban: “[As] far as pulling the scholarship, I think they did me wrong. I was the No. 7 to commit, that’s all I’ve got to say. I was committed to them for a year. They could’ve handled it better.” (Click on story link)

Meanwhile, Darius Philon is the “story that won’t go away,” according to a Sunday column by al.com’s Mike Herndon. Philon, a defensive lineman from Prichard, Ala., injured his knee toward the end of his senior season. On signing day, Philon put on an Alabama baseball cap at an emotional ceremony [see video below] but ended up signing hours later with Arkansas – a school he never visited. Philon’s coach told al.com “He had the world snatched up from under him.” Philon was apparently no longer needed after Alabama upgraded at the position with defensive linemen Dalvin Tomlinson and Korren Kirven.

We addressed the Tomlinson-for-Philon rumors with Henry County coach Mike Rozier over the weekend.

  • How did Dalvin end up going to Alabama? Did it have anything to do with Alabama offering a “grayshirt” to another player? “From day one, Dalvin was going to Alabama. He kept delaying and everything, and it got kind of close with the scholarship numbers. But Nick wanted Dalvin from day one. He was Nick’s boy. Coach Saban fell in love with him a long time ago. Alabama never waived on that kid. There was no ‘grayshirt’ mention with Dalvin whatsoever by Alabama. All that other stuff is rumor and speculation … Dalvin always had a scholarship at Alabama. That thing that happened over at North Atlanta [Justin Taylor], that wasn’t the same thing here. Dalvin always had a a scholarship to Alabama.”
  • What about Alabama’s scholarship numbers? “I kept hearing everybody say that Alabama was getting close to being full and telling me ‘You need to do something, if that is where Dalvin wants to go.’ Alabama was Dalvin’s No. 1 choice but he didn’t want to rush things. I know Alabama was close to being full. Dalvin actually committed to Coach Saban when he made an in-home visit on MLK Day [on Jan. 16] but he wanted to keep it a secret until signing day.”
  • For an elite prospect, Dalvin never seemed to the flashy type or want the media attention. Why do you think Dalvin kept it a secret for three more weeks? “I asked him that. He just wanted to make sure on his part. On Alabama’s part of the deal, there was never any hesitation. They always wanted him. When it got close with the numbers at Alabama and he needed to do something, Dalvin committed. But he wanted to keep it a secret and that I can’t answer. I don’t know why.”
    AJC Super 11 DE Dalvin Tomlinson was "Nick's boy" all along, claims his coach (AJC)

    AJC Super 11 DE Dalvin Tomlinson was "Nick's boy" all along, claims his coach (AJC)

  • Who else knew Dalvin had committed to Alabama weeks ago? “I’m the only one he told at first. He finally fessed up to [Georgia Tech assistant Joe Speed] a few days before signing day about where he was going. Coach Speed honored his wishes by keeping it a secret. Now I can’t answer why Dalvin wanted to wait until signing day. He couldn’t give me an answer on that. But our timing had nothing to do with [Philon] because Dalvin always had an Alabama offer. Alabama was the most truthful school in the recruiting process. They were the most honest. They didn’t pester him and they didn’t bug him. That was one big thing that Dalvin liked about Alabama – that they didn’t downgrade other programs. Coach Saban spoke very highly of other programs, especially Georgia and Georgia Tech. And Dalvin, with the type of character he has, he appreciated that. Alabama didn’t play any games with him.”
  • Are you talking about Georgia Tech and UGA? “It was more Georgia Tech than Georgia. Dalvin wasn’t upfront with Coach Speed until right before the dead period. Coach Speed just thought the numbers didn’t look good at Alabama and that they were holding a spot for him at Georgia Tech.
  • What about UGA? “I think when Dalvin didn’t go on his official visit there, they got the hint. Dalvin did have a family problem [which made him cancel], but the signs were there when he didn’t go to UGA on the official visit or make plans to reschedule it. I guess they got the idea then. He wasn’t upfront with them … Dalvin really liked [UGA RB coach Bryan McClendon]. He said if McClendon was the defensive line coach, he might’ve considered going to Georgia. He thought very highly of Coach McClendon and developed a relationship with him. But he’s the running backs coach. When I say that, Alabama was his No. 1 school all along. I don’t know why he waited it out but he was never going to Georgia or Georgia Tech.”

Other items on “the story that won’t go away”

Justin Taylor on Bama: "... they did me wrong. I was the No. 7 to commit, that’s all I’ve got to say. I was committed to them for a year. They could’ve handled it better.”  (AJC)

Justin Taylor on Bama: "... they did me wrong. I was the No. 7 to commit, that’s all I’ve got to say. I was committed to them for a year. They could’ve handled it better.” (AJC)

  • The moral of this story: If you commit to Alabama, it’s safe unless you get injured or Alabama has the opportunity to upgrade at your position before you officially sign the paperwork.
  • Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News: “Call me cynical, but there’s no question that Philon and Taylor were more committed to Alabama than Alabama was to them when better players lined up to take their place. And yet, despite stories like Philon’s and Taylor’s, an awful lot of prospects can’t wait to play for Alabama … What does it all mean? When Saban’s process is good, it’s very good. When it goes bad, Alabama goes on, and some young men go away.”
  • Al.com’s Mike Herndon: “All verbal commitments are non-binding, even from coaches who claim to be “old-fashioned” and believe “a commitment is a commitment.” On Wednesday, Saban praised the players who had stuck by their commitments to Alabama in this year’s class, calling it “a positive thing for us in terms of managing our recruiting this year.” What his actions have told future recruits, however, is that if you get hurt, that commitment isn’t necessarily a two-way street.”
  • One thing that might’ve been overlooked by many from the Justin Taylor story was the conversation between North Atlanta coach Stanley Prichett and Chris Rumph, the Alabama assistant in charge of botching Taylor’s situation. When they talked on signing day, Rumph apparently was putting pressure on Justin to make a decision for Feb. 2013 — which is a year away. Said Prichett: “[Rumph] asked what Justin was going to do because they wanted to go after some other people.”
  • Apparently, no one asked Saban about Justin Taylor or Darius Philon at Alabama’s signing day press conference. However, Saban may have alluded to both when he said this: “I think basically what we did was, because of the cynical attitude people have towards whether coaches are really doing what’s in the best interest of the young people that we coach, which I sort of resent, to be honest with you, because that’s one of the things that we pride ourselves in, we actually took some opportunities away from guys that really wanted to come to Alabama that we couldn’t sign, and they couldn’t come here because we couldn’t offer that [sign and grayshirt] option to them.” Note: The AJC requested an interview with Saban last week to give his version of events with Taylor or his recruiting tactics in general. We’re awaiting his response.

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1,172 comments Add your comment

Score Check

February 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

Coach Satan = Scum

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

@ Randy Young:

Please keep all such thoughts to yourself as to Mr. and Mrs. Saban cohabitating. Nickie Boy hopefully has not reproduced an that is ALL good.

the realist

February 6th, 2012
6:46 pm

your Bama bashing shows your a 3rd rate hack that hides behind a dying newspaper.

Ballz licked, legs humped

February 6th, 2012
6:52 pm

I would never want to be a Bama Fan… I love being a loser. Ever been to Underground ATL? Wow classy joint

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
6:54 pm

@ Brown Dawg:

When you left Florence why did you not leave the entire state or if you did leave the state why haven’t you helped get all your friends and relatives out?

Actually this is all fun and games to me and you contribute a bunch of quality stuff as does my dear friend Blackout Anyone, who has a 77″ widescreen TV either in his trailer or pickup truck. Fine dude he is( I can’t believe the boy is a native of Alabama).

Goodluck to you and yours.

BamaDAWG

February 6th, 2012
6:55 pm

Enter your comments here

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
6:59 pm

@ The Realist:

Your use/misuse of the word “your” makes you a what? 3rd rate speller Bama grad.

BamaDAWG

February 6th, 2012
7:00 pm

@01HAWK

I think you’re analysis are as uneducated just like you’re state!!! Saban is a crook and everyone knows it!! I CANT WAIT for 2013 when we play you guys again. You guys will act trashy and classless just like you guys did in 2007 when DAWGS won in nasty t-town!!! GOOOOOOOO DAWGS SIC EM WOOF WOOF!!

IL Jacket

February 6th, 2012
7:01 pm

“the story that won’t go away”

Wow, Bammers a little sensitive when the mirror is held up to them.

Rick James

February 6th, 2012
7:04 pm

@really Rick

Rick James,
I think everyone that follows college football at all realizes that if Oklahoma State doesn’t lose to Iowa St then Bama doesn’t play for the national title. You’ve said that several times so what is your point.

Everyone who follows college football also realizes that if SC isn’t upset by Auburn then UGA doesn’t play in the SEC championship game. So UGA got some help for them to win the east and play in SEC CG and Bama got some help to play in the NC game. The difference is that when UGA played for the SEC CG game they got beat down showing they really didn’t deserve to be there. However, Bama totally dominated that same LSU team showing that yes, they deserved their shot.
————————————————————————————————————————————————

Obviously if you already know as much thats fine but my comments were addressed to another blogger that didnt.However,Georgia played in the SEC championship game because of what they did on the field and they lost because they played a better team not because they didnt deserve to be there.Bama on the other hand backed into the national championship game because it was decided that a team that didnt win its conference nor its division “deserved” to be there.I’m sure you’re as tired of hearing that as I am of bama fans ponding their chests..

phil

February 6th, 2012
7:06 pm

If I understand correctly, both kids were/are injured, and could have gone to Alabama spring semester 2013….what’s the big deal?…. sounds like just something for the opponents and others to whine about. If Alabama and Saban weren’t kicking everybody’s a$$, nobody would care—-and you all know it.

yellow hammer

February 6th, 2012
7:08 pm

brainiac this has become a BAMA blog. you now have to gray shirt(come back tomorrow or move on) make your choice.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
7:09 pm

@ Blackout:

Just having a little fun Bro. How are things with you????

sports

February 6th, 2012
7:10 pm

This bunch from Alabama treats these recruits, this kid from North Atlanta for example like pieces of meat. The NCAA should be camped out in Tuscaloosa and get Saban in the other cronies in a corner.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
7:13 pm

@ Yeller Hamner:

10 – 4. Thanks good buddy.

Seriously you do a good job on here.

concern

February 6th, 2012
7:14 pm

MOMS, fathers, coaches don’t let your boys commit to SABAN. Any option preferred to being subject to Saban’s whim. History shows he will drag you along and discard you if a better commit or player comes along.
It not just this year it his track record.

RTR

February 6th, 2012
7:15 pm

You got the dream team and could not make it. You now have the ring team and will not make it. Five star recruits with two star coaching will get you three to four loses every year. I read these post and all I take from it is envy of Nick Saban. You wish you had him! It’s a great time to be a Bama fan! Roll Tide

LakeDawg

February 6th, 2012
7:19 pm

@ Lake Dawg:

Have you no shame? Why would any male including Aladambamians admit PUBLICALLY they dated a Beehive Hairdo female from Alabama?
————————————————————————————————————————————-

What can I say? She was HOT! With a molasses accent that would make you stand at attention. ;)

concern

February 6th, 2012
7:19 pm

Like some other coaches we heard about this year, he apparently reports to no one. THAT’S A BAD SIGN and says a lot about the institution.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
7:20 pm

@ Brown Dog:

Is that where y’all keep them? Northwest corner of the state huh? Are they grazing or cornfed?????????

Ballz licked, legs humped

February 6th, 2012
7:23 pm

Question…… What are Dwags good at?
Answer…….. Lickin Ballz, Humpin Legs, Smellin like dogs, eatin there on shlt

Jagged 5

February 6th, 2012
7:32 pm

Saban or not, from a coach’s point of view up until that fax comes across the line, no kid is locked in. So since the rules are what they are, a coach really should have a margin of error there in case there are last minute defections. otherwise a coach can be left with an undersigned class that he can no longer oversign next year to make up for. So then you are just in the hole. Saban realizes this and is making sure he gets a full class of contributors. If, IF, he is honest to these guys that they need to have a plan B, I have no problem with it and don’t see why anyone would. If it is a situation where Saban tells them, ‘hey I know you want to come here and we want you if we can make it work, but we may be full. Which means you’ll need to go grey to get here (or go somewhere else). But if things fall right, we’d be happy to have you’, then I have no probs with it. Thats a big IF, though. I bet it is somewhere in between…not as cold as most of you are reading into it, but not as forthcoming as this.

I think the NCAA should allow a university to take players seriously injured in their senior year and perhaps not count them against the 25 fully in some way at least in that first year. That way the school is not screwed if the player can’t reach the potential they had when the offer was made, and the kid is still able to get their shot (and proper medical care).

For those of you getting onto Dalvin for waiting to the last minute….it happens all the time. Kids want the hype for some reason. I don’t get it but it isn’t anything unusual. I would think if I was in that position I would have more class than to toy with the coaches, but it isn’t unusual unfortunately.

really Rick

February 6th, 2012
7:33 pm

Rick James, No UGA played in the SEC CG because SC lost to Auburn. Don’t try and say that Bama backed in because Ok St lost but say yall deserved it. UGA lost to SC and if SC doesn’t lose to Auburn, then they play in SEC CG. Same story just one on a national level and one a conference level. All bama fans realize that if Ok st goes undefeated we don’t get the chance to play for NC. But they didn’t and they lost to Iowa St. We are grateful and took advantage of our opportunity and now have another NC in our trophy case.

Brown Dog

February 6th, 2012
7:46 pm

Brainiac, your last several posts made me smile. Tell you what I’ll try to get word to Saban to go the Victory Formation a little earlier next time. We’d want folks to stick around for the halftime show. So how does 5 minutes into the third quarter sound?

DawginTX

February 6th, 2012
7:51 pm

Ask an Alabama fan what they think about ethics and the answer is “national championship.”

Ask an Alabama fan what they think about politics and the answer is “Nick Saban is the greatest.”

Ask an Alabama fan what they think about the weather and the answer is “You’re just jealous because we have Nick Saban and won the national championship.”

Alabama fans either refuse to address an issue that reflects poorly on their school, or they’re just the dumbest mouth-breathing morons on the planet.

I am sure the response will be “your school stinks, RTR!”

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
7:51 pm

Anybody interested in FACTS?

Fact: Offering a kid a Grayshirt after he has been committed for approx a year is in fact screwing the kid and his family for at least a year.

Fact: Those being offered a Grayshirt have few choices. Waste a year of their youth and career, hope to get accepted by a school he had spurned while remaining committed to Bama or pay for a year of college out of his/his family’s pocket.

Fact: Very few of these kids and their families can afford the cost of college

Fact: Saban has SCREWED these people and their families for his personal gain.

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
7:56 pm

Another fact: Nick Saban > Mark Richt

Strange Murphy

February 6th, 2012
8:02 pm

Nick Saban is scum.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
8:05 pm

@ Really Rick:

Your interpretation means zero in the real world. It matters zero why you think ANY game was won or lost. UGA played by the rules and won the SEC East. Nothing you say or think changes that so save you breath
Football Expert Wannabe.

Your Red Elephants hold one record that the real football world would consider unenviable. They are the only D-1 team in history to win a NC after failing to win their division or conference. Fact is nobody was ever given a chance to do so and would have been too embarressed to accept such CHARITY,

RTR

February 6th, 2012
8:07 pm

So, Josh Harvey Clemmons commits to UGA in the morning and doesn’t sign his letter of intent until the following day. Is that’s ok with you? Of course it is because he did sign it. What happens if he doesn’t? UGA is screwed and your short on your recruiting class. Is that ok with you? Of course not and now that kid is a piece of crap in your eyes and all UGA fans. These kids flip flop and change at the last minute every year. Why can’t the coaches? They have to recruit for their jobs and Saban is the best!

So continue to be envious of Saban and wish you had him. Your right will continue to win titles and UGA will continue to be second rate. Enjoy the show Alabama will continue to put on and maybe one day you will be in our class!

Coaches

NicK

February 6th, 2012
8:07 pm

Wow, you guys are a bunch of whiny babies. The Lil Pup nation can continue to stand behind their “Good Christian Man” who happens to have more players getting arrested than any of the other SEC schools – fact. Alabama will keep winning national championships and the Lil Pups will continue to lose to teams that cannot even stay on the field with Alabama (see Michigan State vs. Alabama in 2010, then the Lil Pups in 2012). The AJC is irrelevant, and the great state of Alabama will continue to take your best players like they always have. That said this also includes Auburn. Roll Tide.

UGA FAN

February 6th, 2012
8:08 pm

Saban is as dirty as there is in the country..Karma will get him soon…he is a perfect fit in T-Town..that place honors cheating..see Mike Dubose/Bear/etc….UGA is twice the school and Mark Richt is twice the man

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
8:12 pm

Nick Saban is the champ. You can’t stand it either, can you? UGA is on the same level as Miss St, South Carolina, Kentucky, and now even Vanderbilt when it comes to on the field performance in the SEC. You guys used to run with the big ‘dawgs’ back in the day but those days are long gone. All of you dawgs seem to want to ignore what happens on the field and make excuses why Bama is everything that all of you covet in a football program. I wouldn’t trade 1 Nick Saban for 10 Mark Richts.

bucket

February 6th, 2012
8:13 pm

Let’s all make a pact to not say anything ugly about Alabama, Nick Saban, or Alabama fans and maybe some of these people will just go away. For people who accuse everyone else of being whiners you guys sure have been howling alot on this blog. You complain about MC posting this blog and then you help contribute to 20 freaking pages of “na-na my school is better than your school.” Enjoy your freaking MNC and stop shooting downhill since you insist that you are the greatest fans of the greatest school in the history of mankind.

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
8:13 pm

@ Brown Dog:

You will need to run that by Blackout. I don’t make a move without his expressed approval.

Where do you live now??? I know it is in a doghouse but in Bama I assume the doghouse is also on wheels like the main dwellings.

RTR

February 6th, 2012
8:13 pm

Mark Richt is a second rate coach at a second rate school. Perfect fit! Let me say this again, five star recruits with two star coaching get you three to four loses every year!

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
8:15 pm

Will Smith

February 6th, 2012
8:27 pm

Just goes to show how classless Alabama and especially Saban really are. Auburn gave 20 out of 21 scholarship players this year FOUR year scholarships. Bama gave NONE. Who is treating players like slaves and pieces of meat here?

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
8:27 pm

@ RTR:

Did you ever look into those 3 out of 4 games CMR won in head to head matchups with the great SABAN.
I’m sure you did so how about giving everybody an ALADAMBAMA explanation of how that is possible. Can we even believe that is the same St. Saban we have heard so much about?????? Then there was his flirtation with BIG BOY football in the NFL. They booted his spindly little a$$ out of Miami before you could say Grayshirt..

Was that before he perfected Grayshirting????????

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
8:31 pm

Another Fact: Nick Saban has more championships than UGA.

wayne

February 6th, 2012
8:33 pm

They were the most honest. They didn’t pester him and they didn’t bug him. That was one big thing that Dalvin liked about Alabama – that they didn’t downgrade other programs. Coach Saban spoke very highly of other programs, especially Georgia and Georgia Tech. And Dalvin, with the type of character he has, he appreciated that. Alabama didn’t play any games with him.”

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
8:37 pm

Bigtime:

Didn’t the Florida Bureau of Investigation just nail one of Saban’s product with a large amount of weed???

Moreno has the bucks to pay his way out but your man ain’t even made it to the draft day. What an idiot. Typical Red Elephant representative.

I’m funning. DUI is a hell of a lot worse than smoking weed but if Saban’s boy was selling then he is just as bad or worse. Nobody is lower than a Drug Dealer.

Nick Saban is Great?

February 6th, 2012
8:41 pm

If Nick Saban is so great and is such a football coaching god, then why didn’t he win diddly squat at Michigan State? Why did he have to tuck his tail and run back to college after getting beaten senseless by the pros? The fact of the matter is that guys like Saban can only thrive in places where they can browbeat everyone into submission and never has to be held accountable or have to answer any hard questions. Places like Alabama and Louisiana are ripe for guys like Saban because they have been putting up with corruption from guys like Saban for years. No one in Alabama has the gonads to call Saban on this because they are scared he will leave them to the likes of Dubose, Price, Franchione, and Shula again.

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
8:44 pm

Brainiac… I know that it’s hard for you, but please try to keep up. Details regarding dropped drug charge against former Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
8:44 pm

Nick Saban is great….Yes he is.

SEC fan

February 6th, 2012
8:50 pm

All the Runt has to do is tell kids their scholly will be pulled if they get hurt. Simple as that. However, with no integrity or courage to be honest with the kids, he just leads them on till they do get hurt and then he dumps them. Real class! A poster mentioned earlier that he is in the perfect state to get by with that stuff.

RTR

February 6th, 2012
8:59 pm

THREE National Championships in nine years……enough said! How many does Richt have…..enough said!

Brainiac(Dawg for life/Richt fan for life)

February 6th, 2012
9:06 pm

@ Bigtime:

I said I was funning but that’s okay. I’ve met Bama fans that are even slower than you(Really)

Now if you will be a good boy and help RTR explain how CMR kicked Saban’s little narrow butt 3 out of 4 head to head games I will say goog night but you got to promise.

bigtime

February 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

Brainiac…. That’s great. Does UGA have those trophies in the case yet?

Robert

February 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

Some of the Saban haters here obviously don’t even have two brain cells to rub together.

1. Both players had multiple options besides Alabama and have full rides to play immediately. Only an utter fool would regard them as somehow having been “screwed over” by Saban. Yeah, Brainiac…I’m calling you out. Even if he doesn’t go elsewhere…sit out a semester (NOT A FULL YEAR, fool)…and then have a free ride to the top program in the country…and that’s being “screwed over”? What an idiot.

2. Again, only an utter fool would fail to see through Auburn’s 4 year offers. All Auburn has to do is tell a kid that he’ll never set foot on the field and he should transfer. Any kid who wants to play will transfer. Again, anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see through it.

3. We now know the truth about Philon. Vigor coach Stevenson continued to play Philon throughout the playoffs, even knowing that he needed surgery and that Philon was basically playing on one leg. Philon, as of last week, still had nopt undergone surgery yet. Yet everyone wants to throw Saban under the bus in regard to Philon.