As evidenced by the Brent Calloway brouhaha earlier this year, the Iron Bowl takes place both on the football field as well as the recruiting front.
The latest plot twist on the latter front took place earlier today, with Alabama high school running back T.J. Yeldon announcing he has switched his non-binding verbal commitment from Auburn to Alabama. Yeldon, who will be an early enrollee next month, announced his verbal flip-flop via a statement:
“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.”
Yeldon had originally given a verbal commit to Auburn in June.
If the verbal commitment holds, Yeldon would be a huge get for Nick Saban and his Tide coaching staff as Yeldon is a five-star prospect and rated as the No. 3 RB in the country by Rivals.com. He’s also the No. 2 player in the state of Alabama according to that recruiting service, so it would represent a significant in-state coup for the Tide.
For the second time in less than a month, two members of the Purdue football program have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
This time around it’s a pair of freshmen, linebacker Wyatt Cook and defensive end Chazmyn Turner, who are in a bit of a predicament, with the Indianapolis Star reporting that both players were arrested over the weekend. Cook was charged with minor consumption of alcohol while Turner was charged with possession of marijuana.
No details of what led to the arrests and charges were made public. The program is aware of the incident, but have not stated what if any punishment either could be facing.
Cook was a three-star member of this year’s recruiting class, Turner a two-star. Neither has played in a game this season.
In the middle of last month, two freshmen cornerbacks, Evyn Cooper and David Rose, were arrested and charged in connection to stolen bicycles. Those two were members of this year’s recruiting class as well.
It is no secret that Under Armour is making a nice serious push in acquiring university apparel deals, but the Texas Longhorns is not one it will be likely to whisk away from The Swoosh. According to one report from the Austin American-Statesman, University of Texas officials broke off a meeting with Under Armour and are now expected to stay with Nike moving forward.
The University of Texas has been a partner with Nike since 2000. The contract between the two gives Nike an exclusive window in which it can match or improve on any offers made to the school from rival companies such as Under Armour or Adidas. It is unknown if Under Armour made a formal offer to Texas or how much such an offer could have been valued. What is pretty much commonly known is the Texas brand is still a nice asset in the athletics apparel business, even if the Longhorns are struggling on the football field. Having Texas wear your gear is still a quality investment, which makes Texas a highly sought-after commodity.
Per the American-Statesman report, Texas is expected to sign what would be the biggest deal currently going in collegiate athletics. Considering the handsome deal recently signed between Nike and Michigan, that would mean Texas would be looking forward to more than $169 million from Nike. Michigan signed a 15-year contract valued at $169 million, which will bring an end to its current relationship with Adidas in 2016. As part of the deal, Michigan will become the first football program to wear the Jordan brand logo on its football uniforms. Could Texas be the next? For now that is just something to ponder.
Nike recently lost partners at Arizona State and Miami. Last year Notre Dame began a new partnership with Under Armour, signing a $90 million contract.