Why Would Yeldon Select Alabama?

T.J. Yeldon

I'll admit that I was skeptical when the rumors began last week that T.J. Yeldon, the outstanding running back from Daphne, was prepared to switch his commitment from Auburn to Alabama. That wasn't based on any information. It's just that as long as I have followed recruiting, there has been perhaps one rumor out of about 100 like that proving to be true.



Obviously, Alabama is picking up an outstanding prospect in T.J. Yeldon, considered one of the nation's best running backs.

I was curious how the news was being received across the state and went onto the Tigers site. It was mixed.

Oh, sure, a few were upset about it. Okay, a few thousand.

But one Auburn fan pointed out that Yeldon would be fourth string at Alabama, sitting on the bench, and eventually run off. Another said he would be the fourth best running back at Auburn. Still another prepared him for bad news: four consecutive losses at the hands of Auburn in his career.

If all of that is true, why are there pages and pages of comments about it?

I thought perhaps that one group of messages I saw from Auburn fans to Yeldon was fictitious, but it seems to have been true. Some are too foul to be repeated. But how about:

HOPE YOU BLOW OUT YOUR KNEE IN YOUR FIRST PRACTICE AND HAVE TO AMPUTATE YOUR LLEG (sic)

Or this:

you suck and I heard you were gay. And you liked boys and that you were gay.

And this:

Would never wish this on anyone but TJ Yeldon, I hope you tear every ligament in your knee.

There was also a lot of talk about how he wouldn't fit in at Auburn where they have such class.

It seemed there was an inability to comprehend why an outstanding football player might select Alabama over Auburn. Maybe I can help (and don't bother trying to tweet me any messages, because I don't twitter).

Many years of research have confirmed the primary reasons prospects choose one school over another. They include:

Playing time. The thing about that with a T.J. Yeldon is that he knows he is going to get plenty of playing time no matter where he goes, which makes that a non-issue.

Television. No team is televised nationally more than Alabama except Notre Dame (and not near as many are watching the Irish).

Facilities. Not even close. Bryant-Denny is as good as it gets.

Coaching. This makes facilities look close.

42-14. Okay, I just threw that in, but it probably didn't hurt in this case. Winning players like to be on winning teams. Alabama's seniors will be playing for their 48th win in four years, and for their second national championship, when the Tide takes on LSU in New Orleans Jan. 9. Bama has won three of the last four and there are not a lot of signs that the Crimson Tide is not going to continue as the dominant program.

Recognition. Alabama players win all sorts of national awards and twice in the last three years Crimson Tide running backs have been at the Heisman Award show.

Being prepared for pro football. Alabama is considered to be the mother lode by NFL teams.

Education. A coach once told me that this isn't really important to players; that they just say it because they are supposed to. But it IS important (as they recognize later) and it's important to their parents, and Alabama invests heavily in the academic area so that players are educated and earn degrees.

The rest of your life. Wherever you go, whatever you do, having played football for the Alabama Crimson Tide is priceless. Generations of great players and coaches winning bowl games and conference and national championships have paved the way for you.

Pre-game eagle flight. Included to prove this is an objective analysis and that Auburn doesn't lack in every area.

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