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A lot has been made about how horrible Coach Saban is for recruiting kids and then asking them to gray shirt to rehab from injury before trying to compete for playing time. The AJC runs with stories like this every chance they get painting a negative picture and to trying to smear Alabama and Coach Saban in the eyes of future recruits. I guess they hate seeing Alabama cherry pick the players they want from their state. Anyways, I thought I would do some research on two of the more highly criticized recruits and see how their decision to go elsewhere benefited them as opposed to gray shirting at Alabama.
Flipped to Kentucky because of gray shirt offer: Red shirted at Kentucky to rehab. From their site:
High School: Projected as one of the South's top running backs heading into his senior season ... Committed to Alabama prior to his senior year at North Atlanta HS but incurred a knee injury in September ... Decided to re-open his recruitment after Alabama asked him to grayshirt ... Knee rehabilitation is going well and is expected to be ready to compete when practice begins in August ... Rushed for approximately 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior at Washington HS in Atlanta ... Named All-Atlanta as a junior ... Also started two years on defense as a linebacker ... One of the nation's top-40 running backs by ESPN and 24/7 Sports ... Coached by Stanley Pritchett ... A track athlete who competed in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, along with the 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays ... Member of the Men of Excellence and the Kappa League, a pair of mentoring and community service organizations.
Flipped to Arkansas after offered a gray shirt to rehab. He appears to have red shirted to rehab as well. From their site:
HIGH SCHOOL: Philon was selected to play in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game following his senior season. He was ranked as the No. 20 strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com, while Scout.com ranked him as the 37th-best defensive end in the country. In 2011, Philon collected 66 tackles, including 20.0 for loss with 11.0 sacks, while helping lead Vigor to the Alabama 5A state championship game, where he made 10 tackles, 1.0 sack and one fumble recovery while playing through an injury. During the 2011 season, Vigor allowed just 116 points, an average of 7.7 points per game, while putting together a 12-3 overall record. As a junior, he made 89 tackles, including 20.0 for loss, as the Wolves advanced to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs and finished 9-4. Philon chose Arkansas over Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State. He was coached at Vigor by Kerry Stevenson, where he was teammates with fellow signee JaMichael Winston.
Now, their decision to commit somewhere else may prove the best decision for them personally. I wish both of them the best. I think both could have benefited from the coaching they would have received at Alabama as opposed to their final destinations. However, they chose not to sit out a year at Alabama and the media made Alabama out to be horrible for asking them to do so despite the fact that we felt it was in their best interest. Both enrolled at their perspective schools and then sat out a year as a red shirt as opposed to a gray shirt. They were unable to benefit from the on field coaching as much because they were limited physically from practicing. While I think it may seem like a slap in the face to be told they want them to wait a year, in the end the coaches are trying to do what is best for the players and the team, and in the end the recruits must do what they believe is best for them and let the cards fall where they may.
Here is an excerpt form Randy Rogers Recruiting on Gray Shirts:
Grayshirt is another new term and is applied to the prospect that signs a letter of intent in February, but doesn’t report in the fall with his teammates. He delays entry to college until midyear, i.e. January. That NCAA five-year clock doesn’t start ticking until the player enrolls as a full time student, so gray-shirting is really a delayed version of red-shirting. Texas Tech, for instance, signed 34 players last February, but NCAA rules prevent them from enrolling more than 25 to start the fall. Some of those nine other players are gray-shirted this fall. They cannot enroll in college as full time students, can’t receive their scholarship, nor practice. It is like getting an extra year of practice, because most of these players don’t see the game field until two years later and they have the advantage of going through an extra spring practice.
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips was appreciative that he won the “trust factor” with Justin Taylor, the North Atlanta RB who decided to sign with Wildcats
Dalvin Tomlinson, who picked Alabama over Georgia Tech and UGA on signing day, was not connected to the Crimson Tide’s “grayshirting” scandal, according
I'm sorry, "“grayshirting scandal?" That's just a hatchet job, and just makes media (in this case the AJC) look bad.
There was absolutely no way those two players were going to play this past season, so Saban wanted to maximize what he could potentially get out of them. Instead, they listened to other people and opted to enroll elsewhere. So be it. They still had offers, there is no scandal.
The thing is, though, this kind of thing is going to be made more of an issue if college football goes to an early signing period as many expect because players are going to get hurt and that's just the way it is.
Christopher Walsh covers Alabama football for BamaOnline, 247Sports, and is the author of 18 books.
Terrible story from the AJC regarding recruiting. Never seen that before. (Vbg)
Everything the sports department of the AJC writes makes them look bad Chris. This piece (of s&@!) is no exception.
Will be interesting, I'd imagine once you sign your paperwork you won't be able to be downgraded, so to speak, to a gray shirt. So I'd imagine we'd be much more picky with who gets are initial offers. Will be interesting to say the least.
"Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places you have to look at it right."
I like gray shirting quite a bit. I see it only helping both the kid and the school and cannot identify one case where a kid was harmed beyond a bruised ego.
And to be fair, I recall CNS saying, when he got to Bama, "I had never heard of grayshirting".
Gosh, I hope that article from a year ago doesn't ruin our 2013 class.
The next time an article from Carvell, Finebaum, Skarbinsky, etc., causes us to lose a recruit will be the first. All they do is tick off the fan base who chooses to read them. 18 year old kids don't read their garbage.
Wasn't John Parker Wilson a gray shirt under Shula? He ended up becoming our starting quarterback and leading us to a #1 ranking, sec championship game, and BCS bowl game (all of which we lost in the last week of the season but that is beside the point). JPW is proof that we are not dooming guys to irrelevance by offering them a grayshirt. In most cases it is what's best for the individual.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Carvell is a loser that writes BS. The Scab is nothing more than a Finebaum wannabe. All a person has to do is read a couple of their articles and they know their eyes have turned brown. They definitely have a way of avoiding the facts.
This post was edited by scbamaman 14 months ago
What a joke. Terrible when facts are dismissed when writing an article.
Personally, I will refuse to visit their site and if I lived in the Atlanta area I would not buy that fish wrap.
What would happen if the AJC dissappeared....jk....but seriously those clowns need to be punched right in the nuts for the crap they post about Bama! Worry about your own 2 teams and stop worrying about the mark we are leaving on college football!
The media's lack of understanding and demonization of the word "Grey-Shirting" is as ridiculous as their attempts to demonize CNS and Alabama by spreading their IGNORANT propaganda; i.e., essentially trying to tell everyone who reads or listens that Grey-shirting MUST be bad, so, ergo, CNS and Alabama are BAD!
Would help if these people would step back from their own biased emotions, and THINK instead of reacting on whims and bias.
1960 Les Paul
I look at guys like Chris Jordan - who played just enough to never redshirt but was banged up a few times in his career and never played much. Had this guy come in the 2008 class, but greyshirted and then also RS his freshman year he probably wouldve played quite a bit last year. Could he have been NFL level, probably not - but he wouldve contirbuted a lot more.
If you have injuries late in your SR year, you are almost always looking at a RS - why not just greyshirt and give yourself that "free" time to get healthy? Especailly if the school has to hold your spot.
What is never noted about Philon is that he refused to let the team doctors look at him and did all of his injury stuff on his own, which led to more injuries. Clearly he had something to hid and was more hurt than he led on...
This post was edited by jsmoore11 14 months ago
The AJC is a fish wrapper, nothing more. They will do or say anything to cast bama in a bad light.
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