I don’t know T.J. Yeldon. To be honest, I’ve followed very little of his prep career. I’m not someone that follows closely the ups and downs of recruiting. I’ve never bought into the hype of unproven 18 year-old kids.
The Daphne, Alabama running back is obviously a very good high school football player. Whether he’s the second coming of Bo Jackson is way premature.
What’s not premature is to question the motives of his change of heart from Auburn to Alabama. Last night, only days after saying he was firmly in Auburn’s camp, Yeldon mysteriously had a change of heart.
Rather than call Auburn coaches and notify them of his decision, his high school coach, Glenn Vickery put out a press release on behalf of Yeldon that said in part…
“I have a lot of respect for Auburn, the coaches, and all of the people there, but at the end of the day I feel like the University of Alabama is the best situation and fit for me and my family. I am 100 percent confident with my final decision. I feel great about it and I’m excited to get started.”
Conveniently, the flip-flop happened on the eve of a recruiting dead period. How successful do you think Auburn coaches were in reaching him last night? Today he can’t be bothered.
Yeldon committed to Auburn back in June. This season he rushed for 2,193 yards and 31 touchdowns. He’s a five-star recruit according to 247 Sports.com. The site has him listed as the 16th ranked player nationally and the number two running back in this year’s class.
He was expected to enroll at Auburn in January. Speaking a week ago to Auburn Undercover, Yeldon said he was looking forward to getting a head start by enrolling early. “I can get bigger, learn the playbook and get early playing time when we play Clemson,” said Yeldon.
Maybe T.J. Yeldon did have a change of heart. We are talking about a kid who shaves twice a week – tops. That won’t stop the talk in the coming days of whether there was more to the story than just a change of heart.
If Yeldon would rather wear crimson-and-white instead of playing at Auburn, then so be it. Good luck and good riddance. If there’s more to the story, Auburn people need to be vigilant.
I’m not insinuating that Alabama cheated in gaining Yeldon’s commitment. I do question the timing of the change. I do question the way it happened. Granted, Auburn did recently lose its offensive coordinator, but so did Alabama.
I have no idea what tax bracket his parents are in or what kind of home they own. But like so many Alabama boosters did during Cam Newton’s tenure, Auburn people need to pay close attention to any lifestyle changes Yeldon or his family experience in the coming years.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They are likely good people with a gifted son. However, if any inconsistencies emerge, Auburn needs to pounce and be vocal in doing it.
Recruiting is messy and more times than not, can get dirty. There’s a smell to this story that raises questions. They may be easily answered or not.
We’ll all be watching.