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

Saban Never Sleeps

February 5th, 2012
8:53 pm

Not only are you Leg Humpers a bunch of Wannabees you act like wannabees. You will end of with nothing. What a joke. cant wait to beat that leg humper a@@ some more. Too bad you and your AD and Pres are too skeered to play real teams.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:53 pm

Go to a closed practice at Bama. The only people that get to view a closed practice at Bama is the police dept. Saban had it set up that way from day 1. That’s why you don’t here about kids getting in trouble at Bama. If you don’t believe me go check it out your self.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:53 pm

Bamafan, because they are kids who don’t understand what a POS Saban is as a man.

JB

February 5th, 2012
8:55 pm

@Bamafan: If you’re a great player it’s great to play for Saban. If you’re a mrginal player… not so much. All these guys initially think they’re great players.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:56 pm

JB, it will be years before the UGA engineering programs amount to anything at all. The only reason a kid would choose engineering at UGA is because he can’t get into a REAL engineering school. Remember too, that even though the Regents (non-unanimously) approved it, there are people in the Georgia legislature (INCLUDING UGA grads) who have said they will not allocate any funds for it.

Athens Tider

February 5th, 2012
8:57 pm

I don’t have time to read every entry on this blog, so if someone has already brought this up, I apologize. But if he knew weeks before (as indicated in this column) that he would have to grayshirt at Alabama and he didn’t want to grayshirt, why did he put on the Alabama hat at the signing ceremony and then act like he had just found out? Also, why didn’t he take other visits and decommit if he was so dead set against grayshirting. I suspect he knew but was embarrassed to tell anyone else. If that’s the case, then the theatrics at the signing ceremony is all on him.

NCDawg

February 5th, 2012
8:57 pm

What are you Bama fans smoking? It must be hashish. Your consciences are obliterated! So what does that have to do with smoking hashish? The word assassin comes from it. Assassins would get baked on hash to kill their consciences so they could kill without remorse. That is exactly what you Bama fans that are not outraged by this crap have done to yourselves. I bet some of you go to church on Sunday mornings and thank God for Nick Saban and his “winning is the only thing” attitude. If you can’t see what is wrong with this picture you are hopeless.

I’d call for Mark Richt’s firing if he were to do something like that. These aren’t isolated incidents. Saban does this every year. Others do it too and it doesn’t make it any better. The spotlight is on Bama because they are National Champs and they just got crowned with the supposedly best recruiting class as well. Just like you can break giant runs if your o-line holds… you will have great recruiting classes if you cheat and gray shirting is cheating. The rules don’t quite say so yet but it is coming.

Don’t come on here crying when the roof caves in…

Despicable behavior… disgusting

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
8:25 pm

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

MOBILE, Alabama – Florida State and Alabama combined to grab the state’s top six players Wednesday, but five other schools signed at least one member of the Press-Register’s Elite 18.
Alabama signed four of the top six players, led by No. 2 T.J. Yeldon, the Daphne running back who has already enrolled in Tuscaloosa. In all, the Crimson Tide added six Elite 18 members. That does not include Vigor defensive lineman Darius Philon, who had committed to Alabama, then reportedly got a grayshirt offer from the Crimson Tide and signed with Arkansas.

BAMA grabbed 4 out of top 6 and 6 of the top 18…………………….WOW, BAMA really got owned.

That is so FUNNY…………………………..1980 was so 32 years ago………………FUNNY !!!!!!!!!!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

Athens Tider, Saban probably told him what MIGHT or even PROBABLY would happen, but left enough loose ends that he would think he still had a chance. It’s called covering all bases, and I’m sure Saban is a master at that.

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:00 pm

@Dawg48 must be at a Super Bowl party getting tanked up on Georgia nostalgia posted in his “Dog Cave” Homemade betting line at the bash:
1. How many times I wish I was a Bama fan
2. Over and under on UGA winning NC
3. Over/Under UGA players going to jail
4. Rodney Garner allowed to screw UGA football program

JB

February 5th, 2012
9:02 pm

“Nostalgia” That’s a big word for a bammer fan. Must have your dictionary out.

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:03 pm

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.

The COW COLLEGE in AUBARN are more jealous than you PUPPIES.

See……………………………………………AUBARN has always wanted to be like BAMA but they can not be with their measley 2 National Championships.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:04 pm

Does anybody know if the kid from Louisiana, who committed to Bama over his mother’s objections after Saban found his girlfriend a job ended up signing with Bama?

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:05 pm

01Hawk, are you dumb? Do you really think from my name that I am a “puppy”?

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:06 pm

No, wait, I shouldn’t have asked that question. If you are a Bama fan, then, yes, you are dumb.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:07 pm

The Bear, no I’m not at a super bowl party, no I don’t drink, never wished I was a bama fan, never looked at a over under on UGA and a NC, if a kid throws away a chance at the NFL or free education then he is a DA and does not deserve it. And I like Rodney Garner

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:07 pm

Will any of you PUPPIES be living to see a BCS Championship by your under achieving team ?

I do not even like to mention GT………………..They are not even in the picture. Sorry we had to take your best recruit, and we gave you JUSTIN THOMAS………………….Oh, I forgot, BAMA did not offer BEAU HANKINS.

BRICE RAMSEY is SABANS for the taking…………………………..1980 was so 32 years ago………..LOL

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:09 pm

Supersize that order, mutt …………………..If you knew anything you would see that COLLINS signed with BAMA

BAMA took 2 of the top 5 recruits from LSWHO.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

I would like to see the Bama cave! Let me guess it a 4′ by 4′ room put over a hole dug in the ground with a half moon on the door?

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

Keep drinking the Kool Aid!

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

Supersize that order, mutt …………………………………..So, you are a TECHIE FAN ?

That is just as bad……………………If you are………………………How is the crime over there ?

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:11 pm

01HAWK, that’s why I asked, bubba. I DIDN’T KNOW.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

dean

February 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

I’ve said it many times before, but you never saw Bama fans with anything to say 5 years ago. Alot of chest thumping because they have a great coach. Not so long ago Auburn was rubbing the “one for the thumb” in your faces. It shall be again!

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

Supersize that order, mutt ……………………………TROLL

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

01HAWK, what has the crime in Atlanta got to do with anything regarding football?

NCDawg

February 5th, 2012
9:12 pm

There is sickness here… blind fools that can not tell right from wrong. Winning does not justify this behavior people. There are some things that shouldn’t require a rule to stop it from being done. This is disgusting, despicable behavior.

But the hammer will fall and those of you too conscience deficient to own up to the wrong of this better not come on these blogs and cry about it.

Pitiful.

CrimsonCorner

February 5th, 2012
9:13 pm

Bama 2 BCS NC’s , UGA = ZERO and UGATech = ZERO!

JB

February 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

Signing day has become a complete circus. All these press conferences, stunts etc. are ridiculous. We have jock sniffers like 01hawk to blame for this.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

sorry, 01HAWK, a troll by definition in the cyber world is someone who posts on a rival’s blog. And this is as much a Tech blog as it is a Bama or UGA blog, since it regards a kid who was recruited by all 3 schools. There are NO trolls on this page tonight

NCDawg

February 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

Test… my comments are being eaten.

Jim

February 5th, 2012
9:14 pm

Nothing but selfish kids. Neither kid will be ready to play next season and they were ask to grey shirt. Nothing wrong with that. No scholarship pulled! Spin it how you want, Saban is doing his job and doing what is best for the team. Like I said, selfish! Also, Philon still needs to have his surgery which he delayed. They want know how bad his knee is until he does. Nowhere near being ready. What a joke of an article and same goes for most of the comments.

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:15 pm

dean are you helping your parents do laundry if not go help please.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:15 pm

Bama 2 scumbag coaches, UGA = ZERO, Tech = ZERO!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:17 pm

Jim then why is it that no other schools greyshirt players who are not ready to play the following year and give that scholarship to somebody else? Bama makes up their own rules and then plays by those rules

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:17 pm

Dean is correct!

Special K

February 5th, 2012
9:18 pm

ss I am sure other schools do the same thing. Can’t believe BAMA is the “Only” one. Get real.

dean

February 5th, 2012
9:19 pm

After watching the video above though I wonder why we have allowed signing day to turn into this circus. Did this kid even look at other schools. The story said he never even visited Arkansas. I think these kids get so caught up in wanting to be in the moment and have all that attention that they don’t really thing about what they are doing. Honestly, just set up a NFL minor league for these kids. How many of these kids would be admitted to the school on academic merit if there was no football team? I don’t say that to be mean but very few are truly after an education. I think the standard NFL career is about 3 1/2 years. That’s a fact that should be taught by every high school coach.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:19 pm

Special K, name me one who you KNOW does the same thing. There may indeed be others, but Bama is definitely the only one I have heard about.

Michael

February 5th, 2012
9:20 pm

Please…write about something else already. I’m tired of reading about how these coaches are treating these recruits so badly. I mean I didn’t read anything about how Josh Dawson treating Vandy so badly when he flipped to UGA so late in the process. It goes both ways. Recruiting is brutal. End of story. Now let’s move on to something else.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:20 pm

@ dean, right again

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:20 pm

All I have to say is ROLL TIDE baby

dean

February 5th, 2012
9:20 pm

Bear, tell me that my first comment is incorrect!

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:20 pm

dean ……………………………Don’t you UGA fans think you have a great coach also ?

What you fail to say was that BAMA has won 3 Championships since UGA won in 1980. And we will win another very soon.

BAMA has 14………………………How many does UGA have ?

stopcryingbitches

February 5th, 2012
9:21 pm

I guess all of u losers are sitting there when Saban is talking to the kids about their scholarships. Saban is a good Christian man also. He focuses on coaching other that his hair style and sun glasses like your pretty boy Richt. Plus, he never underachieves. So Boo Hoo and Keep Rolling Tide.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:21 pm

@ Michael, that’s what this blog is all about to begin with. If that’s not what you want to talk about, then find another blog

CrimsonCorner

February 5th, 2012
9:22 pm

Georgia sucks as does Ga Tech.

Pat

February 5th, 2012
9:22 pm

Good grief. “Saban is the devil”? What an ignorant and idiotic comment. Perhaps you should get all of the facts before casting judgment. THE SCHOLARSHIPS WERE NOT PULLED. The young men, who were injured, and set to redshirt anyway, were asked to delay their enrollment at Alabama by FOUR MONTHS. That is all. In fact, in terms of eligibility, it is better for a player with an injury, to delay enrollment if he can whilst he is rehabbing. Saban has never, never, not once, backed out on the promise of a greyshirt.

You Georgia fans are pathetic and butthurt from that idiotic “blackout” stunt you attempted in 2008 when Alabama removed your manhood. Get your facts right before you start spewing your garbage.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:22 pm

@stopcrying……, all I can say to that is BS!!!

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:23 pm

Supersize that order, mutt ……………………..You are correct…………………BAMA makes the rules……………From Bear Bryant to Nick Saban. Both were better coaches than DOOLEY and CMR.