Atlanta, Ga., running back Justin Taylor has a decision to make.
Justin Taylor seeking new options
"At first I went along with it," Justin Taylor said Monday afternoon of Alabama's grayshirt offer. "It's now getting to me. I just love football. I have played for so long. I can't sit out for another six months. I just don't think I can do that. I am going to look at my options."
Taylor was content when he left Tuscaloosa to join the 2011 BCS National Champions as a delayed enrollee, but some have decided it is a bad thing for an injured player to continue rehab and return to school at a later time.
"I am not sure where other schools stand right now," Taylor said. "Tennessee has continued to recruit me. I haven't talked to Arkansas since they offered me. No other schools have really talked to me since my injury except Alabama and Tennessee.
"Purdue hit me up on Facebook today. I can say I am looking to sign somewhere else. Don't take me off the Alabama commitment list just yet. I need to talk to them today."
This did not come as a complete surprise for Taylor when coach Chris Rumph had already discussed the subject of the grayshirt offer several weeks ago. Alabama head coach Nick Saban discussed more with Taylor during the official visit.
"Coach Saban put everything on the table this weekend," he said. "He said we are going to grayshirt you. He said they believe in the long run it will make me better rather than risking potential injury for coming back too soon. He said they want to bring me in in January.
"He was telling me they have 26 commitments and only bringing in 25. He said I was number 26. When he told me all that I wasn't really listening anymore. I just didn't want to hear, It got to me a little bit. I don't like it."
Taylor is an Alabama fan and has always wanted to play in Tuscaloosa. His dream can continue at a later time, but one school has already jumped in wanting to talk more.
"A Purdue coach emailed me on Facebook," Taylor said. "They told me they are looking for a tailback. They said to give them a call, and they will take me right away. I am definitely going to give them call. I'll see what they have to say."
Taylor tore his ACL in September and missed the remainder of his senior year.
"Everything is good right now," he said. "I think I will be back to 100-percent in about a month or two. I feel like I am ready for the big step. I really want to work on my speed. Everything else I can handle. I can still work on my acceleration. I am down to 211-pounds."
Taylor did enjoy parts of his official visit to Alabama. He spent time with potential teammates (if he decides to accept grayshirt) and with the Tide's running backs coach who has a couple of national championships in the last three years and coached a Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram and the Doak Walker winner in Trent Richardson.
"The official visit was pretty good," Taylor said. "Everything was good. I hung out with players. I got to experience some college parties. Ryan Anderson was my host. He was pretty cool dude. I had met him before.
"I spent time with coach Burns. He told me he likes how I recovered from my injury. He told me about the decision about coming in January. He was just telling me he thinks it's the right decision. They know I am competitive, but not 100-percent. They said it might hurt me even more if I came in this summer."
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