Alabama Football: 5 Star Running Back TJ Yeldon Backhands Auburn, Chooses Bama

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IDecember 18, 2011

Yeldon will now run the ball for Alabama. (Photo
Yeldon will now run the ball for Alabama. (Photo

Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer): T.J. Yeldon, a five star running back from Daphne High School in Daphne, Alabama, near Mobile is one of the nation's top running back prospects. He is 6'1'', 215 pounds and many think a running back with a similar future as Alabama's Trent Richardson, who came out of nearby Pensacola, Florida from high school at 5'11' and 210 pounds.

He is a big durable, bruising running back who can both get the short yardage with men on his back or go the distance with a great second gear in the open field.

Though he committed to Auburn in November of this year, today he publicly changed his commitment to the University of Alabama.

Somewhere in Alabama tonight, Gene Chizik is wearing sack cloth and sitting in ashes. It was the biggest prospect in Auburn's 2012 commitment list and now it's not only gone, but gone to Alabama.

In a statement released by Yeldon today he said: "Over the last few weeks, I've really put a lot of time and thought into where I want to go to school and continue my football career. I am blessed to be in a situation where I have several great opportunities and I appreciate everyone involved who has helped me get to this point.

"I want to make an announcement so I can put this behind me and get to work on the things I need to do to prepare for college both athletically and academically. I am going to enroll at the University of Alabama in January.

"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."


Though he was complimentary to Auburn, it was a backhanded compliment at best.

Perhaps Trent Richardson's apparently early exit to the NFL opened the door to Yeldon rethinking Alabama. With Richardson's exit, next year will be the Eddie Lacy show and Dee Hart is more of a situational player at 5'8''; he may not be suited for the one-two punch of bruising type backs that have become an Alabama hallmark as of late.

Yeldon could certainly fill that bill.

Perhaps it was that Nick Saban never gave up recruiting Yeldon.

Perhaps it was because he had a team mate named Ryan Anderson, a linebacker who committed back in April who was always in his ear to come with him to Alabama.

Perhaps he saw Auburn as a sinking ship with a shaky regular season and the departure of the offensive coordinator that he wanted to play for.

Whatever the reason, Auburn fans will be screaming every lie they can imagine, from Yeldon getting a new car out of the deal to his parents getting a new house and Alabama fans will be dancing with joy.

So goes life in the world of Alabama football.

Yeldon is due for early graduation and could be on the Alabama campus by January of 2012.