In the middle of last month, Nick Saban gave an impassioned speech about football players and second chances. The Alabama head coach, reportedly, is living up to and marching forward with that mantra.
While nothing has been confirmed by the school, TideSports.com is reporting that Jonathan Taylor “has officially joined Alabama’s 2015 recruiting class” and “will enroll on Wednesday.” Auburn and LSU had also reportedly been potential landing spots for Taylor.
The website wrote that the recruitment of Taylor, who spent the 2014 season at the JUCO level, “was kept quiet at least in the public for a few months.” The guess is that the hush-hush nature of the recruitment was in part due to the defensive tackle’s off-field issues that led to his dismissal by Georgia.
Taylor was one of four players arrested in March on theft by deception charges, but avoided suspension from the football team after entering a pre-trial intervention program. In late July, Taylor was arrested for aggravated assault after it was found “[t]here was evidence that the female victim had been ‘possibly strangled by the offender.'”
One day after the assault charge surfaced publicly, Taylor was dismissed by UGA.
According to TideSports.com, “Taylor needed to received clearance from the University of Alabama and the NCAA before a decision was made,” to allow him to enroll in school, and that “[a]ny legal issues he had also needed clearance.”
Apparently, it was clear on all fronts as the lineman is set to join the Tide’s latest recruiting class.
Taylor was a four-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia. After taking a redshirt his true freshman season, Taylor played in 10 games in 2013.
He will have two years of eligibility remaining, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2015.
(Photo credit: Georgia athletics)
UPDATED 1:02 p.m. ET: Here’s an update on the situation from, well, us: