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.

IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES

INSTANT AJC RECRUITING CLASSICS

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

1,172 comments Add your comment

Saban Never Sleeps

February 5th, 2012
8:13 pm

@Football Rules – and just how many Division iii games did you attend this year. Either you are misinformed a just a plain dumba@@!!!!

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:13 pm

Next year on signing day all CFB fans wear gray shirts in honor of the kids Saban and Alabama screw over!

SemperGrunt

February 5th, 2012
8:14 pm

Another attempt by the AJC to tear down Bama. For the ones that think Saban should honor the kid’s commitment, well the commitment is non-binding. Do you think it is fair to a school that has a kid commited to them and then flips his commitment to another school on the last day? I don’t see anyone mentioning that. At GT, Paul Johnson will pull your scholarship if a kid visits another school after committing. Is this ok? These kids have an oportinity of a life to visit other campuses that they would not normally have the chance to visit. Let the kids visit where ever they want, it is only a max of 5 visits.

What people need to realize is that college football is a business and Saban is the best CEO out there. UGA fans are kidding themselves saying that they wouldn’t want him as a coach. Bama is in the business of winning national championships while UGA is in the business of making sure they pat their coach on the back for going to church.

And if you don’t know by now, recruiting is a dirty business. Get over it.

Semper Fi!

Nothing to see here

February 5th, 2012
8:14 pm

Nothing new or unusual here. UGA and Richt do the same thing. Richt is even banned from some HS campuses in Georgia over his oversigning and greyshirting over the past several years.

North Campus Trash

February 5th, 2012
8:15 pm

Michael, you should be embarrassed by this piece. When did the AJC change into the Nancy Grace show?

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
8:15 pm

Dawg48 go cry to your mommy!

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

February 5th, 2012
8:15 pm

lake dog…you don’t know sheet about the rules for early entry. Bama has 8 this year and 1 counted against last year but you’re just the typical UGA fan with more mouth than trophies. Your little alter boy marky has more arrest than any school in college football other than UF. Have you beat your girlfriend today? What about stealing from the other UGA players! LOL. You can’t make this tuff up you know. Mike thinks he can help the preacher man with the parents of top players in jawjaw but he’s only wasting space and ink. So you leg humpers run that mouth and I must admit other than auburn you do it better than anybody and you have a lot of experience doing it as well. Keep signing the best friends of good players or walk-ons while Bama signs the best!!!!! Don’t even mention character and UGA together for your program has more thugs than auburn and that is a lot!

JB

February 5th, 2012
8:15 pm

@Lake Dawg: I forgot about ole Pat. He could drink the bourbon too. You’re right about the state of Alabama, Bear was over there, he could have shot somebody between the eyes on national tv and could have gotten away with it.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:17 pm

Dawg 48, BAMA scum no!! Three NC’s since the pups last one, yes!!!!

JB

February 5th, 2012
8:19 pm

Hey George. There is far too much talent in Georgia for UGA and Tech to get em all. The same cannot be said for that backwardass state of Alerbammer.

steverino

February 5th, 2012
8:19 pm

On the plus side, Nick Saban is a highly motivated, results oriented, no nonsense football coach. On the minus side, he is an oily, unctuous job whore who has no conscience. Chalk it up to the duality of mankind.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:19 pm

The Bear, at least my mom is not my sister! The question I wish someone would ask Saban is.
If Dalvin picked up a GT hat on signing day would he have still offered Darius Philon a gray shirt?

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:20 pm

Special K, yes scum!

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:22 pm

Dawg 48 the hint of jealousy is very obvious.

steverino

February 5th, 2012
8:23 pm

Sometimes, MNC’s just aren’t worth what you have to do to win them.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

February 5th, 2012
8:23 pm

Joke of the day…what is Ga Tech football……..Coach Bryant batch slapped his ash and away he went. You Tech fans need to start passing our applications for free housing with each football ticket to get some folks in the stands. It seem to work well with the housing. Those were some of those elite Atlanta folks we saw on TV…Right…Alabama’s behind will make you folks a good Sunday face. Amen and pass the offerring play for Rev Richt and his football recruits!!!! Now there is a damn hypocrite! Suck it Jawjaw.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:23 pm

I’m not jealous, just calling it like it is. It will catch up with Saban soon.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:25 pm

Bama fans don’t want to talk about how Fla St picked Alabama clean.

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
8:27 pm

You know what is sad? I live in Georgia and pull for the Dogs when they don’t play Bama! if you Dog fans would pull your heads out of the sand and listen to some outside views you might wake up!
Bash Alabama Crimson Tide all you want we have 14 National Titles 2 out of 3 last 3 years. Belly ache. Make up all the excuses you can:
1. Saban is Satan
2. Over signing
3. I am a lifelong UGA fan happy with 10 wins against who?
4. Blah…..Blah

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:31 pm

Dawg 48 you are correct on FSU and I make no excuses. They picked our state for two this year. Not sure that compares to the eight we got from GA.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:32 pm

A much as I hate the dawgs and as much as I wish Tomlinson had chosen Tech, it would have far more sense for him to choose UGA over Bama. The academics at UGA are FAR BETTER than those at Bama, and CMR is so far above Satan in class that it is laughable. For once, I think this is one thing that Tech and UGA fans agree on—-Satan Saban is a POS!!!!

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Yes supersize but he is our POS!!!!!!!!

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

Special K, look at how many kids from Georgia go to D1 schools! 8 is not a whole lot.
But, if that makes you feelgood then keep on bragging about it.

SemperGrunt

February 5th, 2012
8:34 pm

Dawg48. FSU picked Bama clean? Really? They got Winston, Shanks, and Casher. Bama got Chris Black, Amari Cooper, and Eddie Williams from the state of Florida. Oh yeah, FSU offered all of them. They really cleaned Bama out didn’t they?
BTW, two weeks before signing day, Philon was told that he might have to greyshirt because of the numbers getting tight. So if Korren Kirven would have went to VT, then Philon would not have to greyshirt to answer your question.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:34 pm

Special K, win or lose, you are welcome to him. Winning is not worth having a cheat like him for a coach.

JB

February 5th, 2012
8:35 pm

If Obama ever needs another press secretary some of you bammer fans would do nicely. The spin is hilarious!

Signing Day

February 5th, 2012
8:35 pm

what would help is have a sign day around Dec 15th (one day only) and another in Feb. That would help teams see what they have after the Dec date and what they need. Also high games are over so everyone know if a kid is hurt-injured etc. Then if a kid wants to show boat and wait till Feb, he might not be needed by that team ( might bring an end to the pick a hot trick)

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:35 pm

You are the one who brought up FSU raiding BAMA for prospects, not me. Just stating the “FACTS”.

SEC fan

February 5th, 2012
8:35 pm

Saban will never permit an AJC interview. He is a cowardly little runt that owns the media in the ‘trailer state’ and he simply doesn’t have to put up with media from elsewhere. He failed miserably in the NFL so will stay in the UA job until he retires. For the most part BAMA fans put winning way above honesty and integrity so Saban can continue to lie to kids and the locals will just kiss is feet and make excuses for his gutless treatment of those without the where with all to hurt him.

Saban Never Sleeps

February 5th, 2012
8:36 pm

Here is the Bad news for you Leg Humpers..It is getting no better in Athens. No discipline, bottom tier game day coaching, Mike bobo..Did I say Mike bobo, Owned by UF, Will get thumped but any top ter team, Lose to MSU..my god, MSU a team BAMA dominated and knocked out their QBs..They were playing a WR at QB at games end. You Leg Humpers better shape up or Vandy will soon own you.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:38 pm

Hey folks, I am not making excuses for Saban. Go look at my posts. Have never defended him. I just find it rather funny how you pup fans tend to think it’s all well and good in Athens. There is plenty of crap in all programs. BAMA does not have a corner on the market. Believe me.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:38 pm

If a kid “commits” to a school, and that school accepts that commitment, then both the kid and the school should honor it no matter what. Kids are kids, and they don’t always stand by their word, thus releasing the school from any obligation. But a school is supposedly represented by adults, and those adults should behave in an adult manner, and that doesn’t mean aborting their commitment or gray-shirting a kid who has been led to believe all along that the school wants him.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:40 pm

SS, got some recruiting news for you. Ga hag a OT at JR day last week Delando Crooks. His top 2 schools are UGA and Bama.Education will be a big factor in Crooks’ decision, as he plans to major in Engineering. He did talk to UGA about what they offered in Engineering. Any way Tech needs to look into this kid possible 4 or 5 star next year.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:41 pm

Special K, the difference is that CMR does things with honor and integrity; if the kids turn out to be bums that’s not his fault. Damn, I can’t believe as a Tech fan I am actually standing up for Richt. LOL

Dumb Georgia boys!

February 5th, 2012
8:42 pm

That’s what it comes down too. These kids just want to go there and and join a winner instead of staying home and building up the home team into a winner. This guy has proven he doesn’t care about you. If you get hurt he dumps you, but they still are coming to him. So Dumb Georgia boys.
Stay home and build up the in state schools. Or commit get hurt and get dropped.

There is no way i would want to go play for this guy. but he has ESPN in his pocket, they gave him a rematch even though someone else should have gotten a shot. No one mentioned this story on ESPN either.

so run to saban dumb kids run!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:42 pm

48, why the hell would he be looking at either UGA OR Bama for engineering? Maybe he’s not as bright as you might think/

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:43 pm

@ Dumb, the HS coaches in Georgia should unite and start telling their players the truth about Bama. That might make some of them at least think before they even consider the Tide

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:44 pm

It’s not just Georgia fans talking about Saban. Check out more sights from other schools, the wall street journal, sports illustrated , many more.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:44 pm

I think Richt is a great guy. You’ve never heard me trash him. I have met him in several situations. I am saying that if you think that UGA does not have issues with it’s team, pull your head out of the sand. Every school is a city. In that city you have good people and bad people. Good things and bad things. So to say BAMA has the corner on bad, pull your head out of the sand my friend.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:46 pm

Special K, it sure looks like Bama has the corner on unethical behavior by their coaches, Saban in particular

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:47 pm

SS, don’t know, in the article he said he talked to engineering ” specialist” at UGA.
But when I saw that I’m thinking if education plays a big of a roll in his decision as it says it does and he has his major picked out he will end up at Tech.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:48 pm

What do all the Auburn fans in Alabama have to say about this? Surely Auburn gets good coverage by the media in that part of the state at least. The entire state and its media can’t possibly be sold on or proud of the way Saban does things.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
8:48 pm

Go back and read the whole article. See what Dalvin had to say ok.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:49 pm

48, I hope somebody at Tech knows about him and is looking into it.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:50 pm

SS, I want tell anyone on Kens blog your sticking up for UGA. Lol

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
8:50 pm

@Dawg48 We don’t care you must since you and a very small portion of Dog nation are on here. Envy is a tough pill to take!
Roll Tide Oh yea Blackout anyone?

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:50 pm

Special K, at this point, I’m not sure what Dalvin had to say means a whole lot. If he had chosen Bama way back whenever, the by stringing others along and not just coming out and telling them of his decision, then he proved to not have much character, and all his claims about putting academics first are a total joke.

JB

February 5th, 2012
8:51 pm

FYI: UGA will soon be offering civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering degrees.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:51 pm

48, you tell them, and you’re a dead man. LOL

Bamafan

February 5th, 2012
8:52 pm

One question:….if it’s so bad playing for Nick…why are players embarassing themselves on national TV begging for him to sign them….