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

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:23 pm

Thanks Dean! You are in the UGA Hall of somthing.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
9:23 pm

If you got the time, go look it up for me. Keep telling yourself that BAMA is the “Only” team that cheats. If it makes you feel good. We’ll keep winning MNC’s and you’ll keep making excuses.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:23 pm

If a cud takes a grey shirt he is not in his right mind. Why wait if he has offers from a major D1school. Saban got what he wanted, he had the Taylor and philon in his side pocket. When Dalvin and the other RB committed he offered them a gray shirt so they would go away. Spurrier did the same thing to 3 kids last year, but he did not offer the gray shirts. Saban did not want the “bad publicity ” Spurrier did. At least Spurrier had the balls to be honest and say thanks but no thanks.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:24 pm

A greyshirt means loss of scholarship money for tuition, so in fact the scholarships were pulled. Only active players and redshirts receive money for tuition, and if others do, then that is an NCAA violation.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:26 pm

Special K, you are the one who disputed what I said. Therefore, you are the one who needs to prove his argument. The entire nation respects Bama’s accomplishments on the field, but the entire nation also knows the coaches engage in less than ethical behavior to get there.

still a dawg fan

February 5th, 2012
9:28 pm

Hey The Bear,

Alabama coaches don’t outwork the other coaching staffs they only OUT SIGN the other coaching staffs

dean

February 5th, 2012
9:28 pm

Hawk, I’ll be the first to say that I actually like Saban. I like his style of football and that he brought defense back after Spurrrier got the offensive ball rolling. I don’t agree with everything he does but damn, I don’t agree with a lot of stuff. What I have a problem with is all the crap we have to see from you guys becuase you are on a roll now with winning. You know what the Shula and Francione, and the fat guy before was like. Yeah, I’m a UGA fan all the way and will pull for them win or lose. I know that our day will come and I believe that Richt will bring it for us. Enjoy your run but keep your mouths shut unless you want to run it in a Bama newspaper. You only come over here to gloat becuase your team is on top right now. Like I said, your fans had nothing to say in this paper 5 years ago. Florida fans and Tech fans as well as Auburn fans have always been represented in these blogs. You guys were nonesistent before now over here so you just don’t garner the respect you think you get just because Bama is on top of the NCAA football world right now. I never had a problem with Bama untill this year. You make Florida fans seem mature, and that’s saying alot!

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:28 pm

Wow, 01Hawk must be the Dumbest person alive! How many times does SuperSize have to say he us not a Georgia fan?

Rick James

February 5th, 2012
9:29 pm

@Supersize that order, mutt

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?
———————————————————————————————–
He did sign with Alabama over LSU but his mother stated on signing day that she will not wear Alabama colors when she goes to his games.I think she has that instinct for Saban that parents get when kids bring friends home that are no good for them..

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:30 pm

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:31 pm

@ Rick James, thanks, and good for his mom

wag

February 5th, 2012
9:31 pm

Mark Richt and Paul Johnson have class. If my son were being recruited, I would rather my son go where the coaches are good men and good football minds. Basically, Alabama would not be welcome in my living room unless Saban retired.

Special K

February 5th, 2012
9:31 pm

Yes we are dumb and our coaches cheat and are POS as ss says. I am so glad you have a better team and fans to deal with. You keep yours and I will take mine. It has already been said on this forum about Spurrier doing it and I will also tell you that Houston Nutt was doing it at Ole Miss and Ark. Nuff said about that.

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:33 pm

Rick James, she is mad because the check Saban gave his girlfriend was bigger than the check she got from Les Miles.

Michael

February 5th, 2012
9:33 pm

Please…write about something else already. I’m tired of reading about how these coaches are treating these recruits so unfairly by not honoring a verbal commitment. I mean I didn’t see anything on how Josh Dawson treated Vandy unfairly when he flipped to UGA so late in the process. Recruiting is brutal but it goes both ways. End of story. Not let’s move on to something else.

guy

February 5th, 2012
9:36 pm

With Saban and Alabama, the pride hs already come before the fall!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:36 pm

Michael, you already posted that word for word. So I will say again, if you don’t like the topic of this blog, then go someplace else.

stopcryingbitches

February 5th, 2012
9:36 pm

Hey dean. You suck! Ga sucks. Bama rules! Maybe ya’ll can give a 50yr old Herschel another scholarship. Thats the only reason ya’ll won it in 1980…32yrs ago. Damn, thats a looooooong time. Its only been 27 days or so since our last National Championship. Keep trying, we will keep winning. If Saban was your coach and losing, and Richt was Bamas coach winning, you would say the same thing about Richt. Stop hating…u bunch of losers. Roll Tide!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:36 pm

@ guy, we can only hope

Special K

February 5th, 2012
9:37 pm

What I have seen on here is other fans bashing BAMA. You’ve never, ever seen me on here trashing other teams. I’m just on here to defend mine because you folks can’t seem to get the picture. I pull for GA when they are not playing BAMA. I’ve never boasted on here. I just see some fans on here that want to focus on the other team when they have as many issues as anyone.

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:38 pm

dean ……………………..You are quite wrong in that BAMA is the elite of the SEC in football and always has been and always will be.

Florida did not win squat until Spurrier came.

LSWHO did not win SQUAT til SABAN came.

UGA is an after thought since 1980

Bama is the 5 or 6th winningest program in the country. BAMA has been winning for a long time. The Parents love Nick SABAN.

stopcryingbitches

February 5th, 2012
9:39 pm

Hey wag. If ur son is anything like u, he wont have enough class to go to Bama. Go to Loserville, Bama is for winners only…and we r filled up with them!

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:39 pm

Taylor said Saban was going to get him a job, Saban gave Collins girlfriend a job. Hey Obama get the NCAA to lift the number of kids Alabama can sign and unemployment will go away by next years signing day!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:40 pm

Special K, the topic of the blog is the “questionable” recruiting of Tomlinson, so that alone opens up the discussion to criticism of Bama and Saban. And yes, ALL teams have issues, but currently, the only team with questionable recruiting policies is Bama.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:42 pm

@ stopcrying….., just because you have some winners does not mean you have class. And I venture to say that wag’s parents have far more class than you or anybody on the Bama coaching staff.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:42 pm

@ 48, you’re on a roll tonight. LOL

Crimson Crush

February 5th, 2012
9:43 pm

Paul in NH wrote :

Although I am a critic of Saban in the Taylor case, the headline to this blog does not reflect the content – Tomlinson is not even quoted in the post.
If the AJC writers are going to delete posts for any reason other than profanity, racism or attacking high school players then there is no point in treating the AJC blogs as a public forum.

=====================================================================

Yes Paul … I think you have went clearly on the record as not being Saban fan on the topic of Taylor . Which makes the simple attempt at intellectual honesty more meaningful . I am just glad Tide fans weren’t the only one that noticed the headline and very first sentences were 180 degrees apart from each other :-)

As for the other … I didn’t check this until now but it would be interesting to know what post there were that AJC found worth deleting considering how much garbage they leave up .

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:44 pm

SS, Roll Damn 48! Lol

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:46 pm

48, you’re too much fun to be a damn dwag. LOL

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:46 pm

Isaiah Crowells Mom wanted him to go to BAMA………………..She thought CMR and his staff was the DEVIL………………………….WOW………………CMR is the DEVIL…………….Imagine that !!!!!!!!!!! That scolly was only given to HARROW to entice CROWELL………………………..How shady is that…………………….A 2 for 1.

1. Isaiah Crowell’s mother said she’s thrilled about their family friend Quintavious Harrow receiving a scholarship offer from Georgia, but not if it comes with any attachments to her son.

“Well, for Quintavious it’s wonderful,” Deborah Crowell told me Monday. “But I don’t want them to do it to get Isaiah there. I’m not selling my son’s soul to the devil. This is his decision. If they want to give Quintavious a scholarship, that’s fine. But that can’t have anything to do with Isaiah. He has too much pressure on him as it is and I’m going to lay that on the line with them. We’ll discuss that while we’re up there.”

Crowell, No. 1 on the AJC Fab 50 list, will be taking his official visit to Georgia this weekend along with his mother and the rest of his family. So will Harrow, better known as “Cootie” to family and friends. The 5-11, 190-pound linebacker/safety from Carver-Columbus — who is Crowell’s best friend — received a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs last week, his first from any school.

The Harrows and the Crowells, who have known each other since their kids were in kindergarten, just got back from a trip to Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama this past weekend. They left very impressed with coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

“It was wonderful,” said Mrs. Crowell, who will also accompany her son and his final visit to Auburn on Jan. 28. “They kept us busy, but we had fun. They had everything planned out and stuck by it all weekend. My husband and I had a wonderful time and Isaiah did, too.”

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:47 pm

Well, the super bowl is down to what will probably be one frantic finish. Gonna be interesting

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:49 pm

01Hawk, no one pays you any attention! You can go away now!

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:50 pm

48, he was bashing the crime around the Tech campus. What do you want to bet that he actually lives in Atlanta?

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:52 pm

Good night PUPPIES, TECHSTERS……………….Get back to you SEC EAST Championship memories while I look back at 1992, 2009, and 2011.

Well………………………Techsters you did win one in 1990 with Bobby Ross. Oh, that was so 22 years ago.

My ROLL TIDE BUDDIES…………………………..It is so GREAT to be a BAMA fan.

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:52 pm

Love it! Every post about Bama just goes crazy. UGA posts dead. Winning is nice, being nice isn’t winning.
ROLL TIDE

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:52 pm

Yea, under the bridge on Howell Mill Rd at Chatahooche Ave.

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
9:53 pm

WOW !!!!! What a finish to a ball game !!!!!

01HAWK

February 5th, 2012
9:53 pm

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:49 pm

01Hawk, no one pays you any attention! You can go away now!

Why do you keep responding ? …………………You are FUNNY !!!!!!!!!

Dawg48

February 5th, 2012
9:57 pm

SS, talk with you later.

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
9:57 pm

Yep even in Ga Bama fans defend the Tide ,even on the AJC!
ROLL TIDE

Crimson Crush

February 5th, 2012
9:57 pm

Love the last line on this article about the whining Meyer set off in the Big 10

“And let’s be honest, publicly airing recruiting grievances against Meyer and his staff is JUST ANOTHER FORM OF NEGATIVE RECRUITING and IT COMES ACROSS AS PETTY AND BITTER BECAUSE OF LOST RECRUITS.” LOL … I’ll just add ditto X two for the whiners about Coach Saban

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/urban-meyer-recruting-tactics-draw-ire-fellow-big-184857946.html

Even funnier is the fact that you have Buckeye defenders now defending themselves against the same type of whiney a** attacks they have launched themselves against the SEC . Guess it makes a difference if you have a coach that actually gets off their rear end and goes out to work … every day … every hour … every minute … until the job is done . Now suddenly they are all for it LOL ;-)

“Urban Meyer sells success, not snake oil, to recruits”

http://www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com/article/20120203/SPORTS/202030318/Urban-Meyer-sells-success-not-snake-oil-recruits

Two thumbs UP for the Wisconsin AD who had obviously had to tell his whiney replacement as the head coach to STFU ( Wisc current head coach first came flat out out whining that Meyer “cheated” … thyen had to backtrack and admit … well … he didn’t ;-) )

“Asking a committed recruit if he would be interested in signing with a different school is not a violation of NCAA rules.

Some coaches had suggested there is an unwritten rule within the Big Ten that prevents such activity. But Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez — the Badgers’ former coach — said Friday that there’s no such pact.

“Recruiting is recruiting until they sign,” Alvarez said. “If we had somebody who changed their mind and came to us, that’s OK. Urban (Meyer) was very aggressive, but there is no pact within the conference not to continue to recruit. It’s open season until they sign.”

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7537382/urban-meyer-ohio-state-buckeyes-recruiting-staff-full-compliance

Supersize that order, mutt

February 5th, 2012
10:02 pm

48, take care. I’m outta here too

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
10:02 pm

Dawg48 the tribe has spoken, leave you have been voted out of the SEC!

Crimson Crush

February 5th, 2012
10:08 pm

As far as MC’s request for an interview with Saban for “his version of events” … HOLD THAT BREATH TILL THE CALL COMES IN . You grant request to real journalist with at least a thimble full of journalistic integrity .

Otherwise what you get is another AJC hit piece . It would be like me being simple minded enough to let a Dawg48 interview me over the phone … then letting HIM type up HIS version of everything I said . Everyone would recognize that as a joke … but the AJC apparently still thinks it is “journalism” :-)

Dooley

February 5th, 2012
10:10 pm

Nick Saban is a liar. You get a kid to commit, tell him he has a scholarship then pull it. The man has no integrity. He is a liar and doesnt practice what he preaches.

Roll Tide 48

February 5th, 2012
10:12 pm

Funny how this is only a story in the AJC and no where else in the nation. But I guess when you haven’t had the opportunity to write about a local championship team in a while you have to do what you can to write about another championship team. Roll Tide!! 14 and counting! (or 9). Either way, it is more than Georgia!!!!!!

Pete

February 5th, 2012
10:12 pm

When it comes down to it, football is a game. Nick Saban and Alabama will do whatever it takes to win and to some that’s all that matters. In a way I feel sorry for you, but mostly I just feel disgust toward you. Nick Saban is a piece of trash, it’s that simple.

CC

February 5th, 2012
10:14 pm

SABAN IS A CROOK!!

The Bear

February 5th, 2012
10:14 pm

THe Bear is out on this sorry post…………ROLL TIDE

BigDaddyDawg

February 5th, 2012
10:20 pm

“Saban is a Christian too” lol! A Christian don’t take God’s name in vain. He is a hellion. A Christian also wouildn’t do kids the way he does. Bama fans have sold their soul to win Championships. I’d rather lose and have integrity. Heck, half of yall are inbred anyway. So I guess he fits yall just fine. Going to hell in a handbasket.