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Recruit’s dad not pleased with how son flipped from ‘Bama to Auburn

Brent Calloway

It seems like a couple of times a week this time of the year, you’ll hear or read a report of a highly-touted recruit switching his non-binding verbal commitment from one school to another.

What’s very rare, though, is to see a parent of the de-commit very publicly question the flip.  The adoptive father of one of the top players in the state of Alabama, though, appears to play this recruiting game straight from the old-school playbook, where giving your word to somebody or some thing actually means something.

Linebacker/running back Brent Calloway, the No. 1 player in the state according to, had given his verbal to Alabama last June, but announced at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — broadcast on NBC — that he was going to Auburn.  Harland “Peaches” Winston,  who along with his wife adopted Calloway when he was in ninth grade, was stunned to learn that the No. 12 player in the country announced during the telecast that he was headed to The Plains.

And, suffice to say, he was not pleased with how the situation played itself out.

“I’m from the old school,” Winston told the Birmingham News. “When you shake a man’s hand, look him in the eye and make a commitment, you stick to that commitment.

“I respect him and I’m going to root for him. But I don’t think he handled it the right way.”

For his part, Calloway said the fact that Auburn will allow him to play running back — the Tide coaching staff, along with the dad, feel Calloway’s best route to the NFL is via the defensive side of the ball — and their depth chart at that position is less crowded than their in-state rival’s played a role in his decision.  Plus, it appears Calloway is simply more comfortable with the situation, including the coaching staff, at Auburn.

Not only is Winston not comfortable with how his son went about making the decision, he appears far from comfortable with the “flamboyance” of the Tiger staff.

“They stick to business. You don’t see their coaches high-fiving,” Winston, who says he’s not a ‘Bama fan, said of Nick Saban’s Tide staff.  And in an unrelated story, the ears of Trooper Taylor (no relation) and his white towel are suddenly ringing with a urgent ferocity.

Despite his reservations, Winston told the paper that he will not interfere with his son’s decision.

Calloway has a visit scheduled to Auburn Saturday.

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24 Responses to “Recruit’s dad not pleased with how son flipped from ‘Bama to Auburn”
  1. edgy says: Jan 29, 2011 1:33 PM

    I guess he has to return his $180k to Alabama. :)

  2. lbijake says: Jan 29, 2011 1:52 PM

    $180k is QB money. Refund should be less.

  3. burntorangehorn says: Jan 29, 2011 1:56 PM

    Alabama would certainly have been the better program in terms of NFL prep, if that’s what the kid actually wanted, but if he wanted to play running back at the possible expense of NFL draft potential, then that’s certainly a justifiable reason. That said, I agree with Winston in his opinion of Auburn’s coaching staff.

  4. cubano76 says: Jan 29, 2011 2:07 PM

    Oh Crap! That kid is going to get a letter from Mr. Burton, blasting him for not including him on this decision.

  5. edgy says: Jan 29, 2011 2:20 PM

    180k is QB money at Auburn; closer to 250k at Alabama. :)

  6. southernpatriots says: Jan 29, 2011 2:33 PM

    We thought it was $180k for Mississippi State? We know they don’t have the money as do the Alabama schools. Auburn should be good for a few more thousand and Alabama even more. Saban could chip in some of his $6mil.

    All jesting aside. We hope the young man is making the best decision for himself. For longevity and available positions, it would appear that being a really good defensive back would trump a good running back from the college ranks to the pros. Running backs in the SEC are really bruised and battered by the end of the season, especially in the SEC West. We wish Brent well at Auburn.

  7. edgy says: Jan 29, 2011 2:38 PM

    Actually, as it turns out, 180k is PK money at Alabama. His take would be closer to $280k. :)

  8. thompgk says: Jan 29, 2011 5:20 PM

    Not surprising that a guy who became his adopted Bama fan father when he was in 9th grade (hmmmm, interesting how that happens) is upset about his son flipping to Auburn.

    This is the same fanbase whose daughters get choked out by Courtney Upshaw and then when he is acquitted, the father of the victim gives a big Roll Tide and says it was all his daughters fault for riling up the big roider.

    Loyalty to “family” is nothing when Nick Saban calls and tells you that you better watch yourself when you are walking up the stairs with a salad like Logan Young.

  9. rangenius says: Jan 29, 2011 5:54 PM

    Auburn got away with paying Cam Newton, why not this time too! The kid got paid!!! Gators do it the right way, the honorable way…

  10. edgy says: Jan 29, 2011 5:58 PM

    Who’s making money in the SEC. Please note that the cost of paying players has held down profits. :)

  11. dcroz says: Jan 29, 2011 6:48 PM

    While dad may be upset that his son handled the flip badly, he really didn’t do anything that we’ve not seen time and time again, not just by players, but by coaches, too. Saban walked away from his contract with the Miami Dolphins after two seasons, as did Chizik with Iowa State. While it’s sad to say that people no longer put nearly as much importance into keeping their word as they once did, it’s not like his former presumptive college coach and his current presumptive college coach can really say much about it.

  12. southernpatriots says: Jan 29, 2011 10:46 PM

    Agreed! We could add just for truth in history sake, Saban walked away from a contract with LSU after getting his normal salary plus $2.5 mil + $1 to go the the Miami Dolphins which did not work out well for the Dolphins. Which coach kept his word? Coach Les Miles of LSU who when approached by several schools including his alma mater of Michigan, chose the crawfish, temperate climate, hugely competitive SEC West, great media exposure, great recruiting, and wonderful atmosphere for his wife daughter, for the same salary contract extension (which is unheard of) to honor his word to his players and to the fans. Some coaches are men of their word, it is just not that often, and when it is true football fans, university alums, and all should rejoice, and we do!

  13. Deb says: Jan 29, 2011 10:47 PM

    Stupid decision, kid. Everything that glitters isn’t gold. Should have listened to the guy with the NFL connections. If they paid this one, he didn’t share with Daddy.

    @edgy …


    @rangenius …

    You have to assume that everybody’s up to a lil somethin’, somethin’–even the faith-based schools (just look at Southern Methodist). And that includes Florida. Auburn was just way way way over the line. It’s like the difference between the guy who fudges a bit on his tax return and the Sopranos.

    @dcroz …

    PLEASE. Get over the Saban/Miami thing. You people sound RIDICULOUS. Grow up. He quit his job. It’s not the same thing and shaking on a deal and welching. He quit his job. Grownups quit their jobs. He went to Mr. Huizenga and told him that his wife was unhappy and wanted to be back in a college environment. Mr. Huizenga said okay. He quit his job. It’s like none of you has ever quit a job for a better job. Mr. Huizenga was his employer and said publicly that he had no problem with him quitting his job.

    @thompgk …

    Take it you missed the part about his dad not being a Bama fan.

    The clock is ticking …

  14. dcroz says: Jan 29, 2011 11:19 PM


    Um…this “you people” is YOUR people. In case you’ve forgotten, I’m a ‘Bama fan, too. And while I’m glad Saban made the decision that he did, he still walked away from a contract he was under to the Dolphins, as did Chizik from Iowa State (and as did Les Miles when he left Okie State to go to LSU, southernpatriots; he ain’t a saint in this instance himself). My point was that this is how things work nowadays, for better or worse, rather than coming down on Saban for welching on his deal. Hell, owners (and universities) do likewise when they want a change for whatever reason, so it’s not like the coaches are alone in this.

  15. Deb says: Jan 30, 2011 12:53 AM

    @dcroz …

    I know who you are! I’m just tired of hearing that Saban stuff. Don’t think I see you often on PFT, but oh my word, those Dolphin fans are the whiniest creatures on God’s planet. Cam Cameron is the guy who dragged their team down to 1-15 and they never mention him. And I guess they’re too shallow to know their own team’s history, but they were fined by the NFL for tampering when that hypocritical old goat Shula left the Colts to take their job! But all they do is whine about Saban :roll:

    As far as the kid goes … I don’t think it’s good for any kid to feel it’s okay to shake on something then renege. But securing agreements from teenagers who are being wooed like that is a dodgy business. With the stuff being thrown at them, it’s a wonder their heads aren’t spinning around on their necks. I don’t take any of it seriously until Signing Day. If he sticks with Auburn, Bama will survive. But sadly for him, the spiel he bought won’t do him a lot of good if he can’t make it into the NFL, drops in the draft, or the hammer falls on Auburn’s program.

  16. edgy says: Jan 30, 2011 9:49 AM

    Deb, please, what? :)

  17. sprtman says: Jan 30, 2011 11:41 AM

    Couldn’t turn down the money. Ha, Ha. The two cheatinest programs in the history of college football (FACT) is Tide and Aub. Says everything about the people of that state.

  18. southernpatriots says: Jan 30, 2011 1:07 PM

    sprtman: When was Alabama and Auburn teams/schools/sponsors, etc. caught giving money to players? The Tide scandal under Shula was not money exchanged but a big problem with academics and they paid a heavy price. We are not Alabama or Auburn apologists, but we have long time and good friends and good people are in Tuscaloosa and Auburn, AL. We will let those who are alums and fans defend them but we would like to know the evidence of when they have been found by the SEC or NCAA of paying players or transferring property to money to them as did Southern Cal to Reggie Bush, and others?

  19. edgy says: Jan 30, 2011 1:10 PM

    Wow, you’re 2 for 2, sprtman. Sorry but until they broke up the SWC, you couldn’t find a more corrupt conference and SMU made anything that happened in the SEC look like amateur hour. The corruption in the conference was so bad that Arkansas left a vapor trail as they headed out of town for the — wait for it — SEC. The SEC has had its problems but let’s not forget that at one time, all but three of the SWC programs were on probation in the 1980s (Arkansas, Baylor and Rice escaped back then). In terms of today’s dollars, SMU was throwing around even more than what was allegedly being solicited by Cecil Newton.

  20. Deb says: Jan 30, 2011 4:02 PM

    @edgy …

    Puhlease don’t joke around like that because it encourages simple-minded dimwits like squirtman … or was that sprtman? Anyway, thanks to you and southernpatriots for setting him straight 😉

  21. southernpatriots says: Jan 30, 2011 4:37 PM

    Deb: Thank you. It really bothers us when folks, sports talk hosts, or as you call them “simple-minded dimwits” accuse SEC champions like Alabama and Auburn (and you can put LSU, Florida, Tennesee, etc. also in the mix) of all kinds of scandals, payoffs, etc. when the truth is that these programs work, work, work, work, work and practice, practice, practice until the coaches, staffs, and players are exhausted and then back it again the next day in the humid hot summer months to prepare for the “murderer’s row” schedule of the SEC, especially the SEC West. Either these other conference or team supporters just refuse to accept the fact that the SEC has better players (NFL players as present proof) or better teams (BCS records, titles, etc.), or better coaches, etc. It is especially difficult to listen to sports talk out on the West Coast or upper Mid Central of how they have the best teams in the nation, win the most bowl games, win the national titles and when we are able to get in, we ask the question, “When?…10 years ago, decades ago, when?” And if Bama is brought up with all their national titles, the hosts become irate and very defensive. It is strange. Year after year the SEC teams, especially the top 5 or 6 prove they are at the national top, if one is not the outright winner. Ya’ll have a great time and best to all. One of us going back in for another operation. The others will help here and there but mainly at the hospital, but we’ll be out there at Spring media circuses all around the Southeast. Have a great year all!

  22. 1990tiger says: Jan 31, 2011 12:54 PM

    Deb says:
    Auburn was just way way way over the line. It’s like the difference between the guy who fudges a bit on his tax return and the Sopranos.
    ….and the facts you have to support these allegations are what????

  23. Deb says: Jan 31, 2011 2:19 PM

    @1990tiger …

    Sadly (for your sake–I like you), I do believe those facts will come out as a result of the FBI probe into the gambling corruption scam. You know some big-name Auburn boosters already have taken plea deals. Leaks coming from the investigation indicate that Auburn recruiting violations are involved. It makes sense because Cam’s people were shopping him for six figures and suddenly he shifted allegiance to Auburn out of nowhere. It may be a situation like USC that takes years to prove, but you should prepare yourself for something to come of this.

  24. ironmanjimbo says: Feb 4, 2011 5:21 PM

    All Calloway did was talk to Michigan State, LSU and Dolphins fans on “I will not be the next Alabama coach” Satan and decided to go elsewhere. I from the school that believes that Honesty builds Character! The Alabama coach is in no way in the same league as Bear Bryant! It is obvious why Calloway switched. If father is so hung up on honesty and commitment, he should be thrilled that his son is not playing for that liar!

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