The rumors had been circulating for weeks that Daphne (Ala.) running back T.J. Yeldon would be decommitting from Auburn and flipping to rival Alabama. Sunday afternoon, the four-star running back turned the rumors into news and officially changed his commitment to the Crimson Tide.
“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," Yeldon said in a statement issued to the media. "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"
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had been hotly pursued by the Tide coaching staff despite his commitment. Ranked 123rd overall and the 7th-best big back in the country by MaxPreps, Yeldon gives the program an able replacement should Heisman finalist Trent Richardson depart to the NFL.
"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," Yeldon said. "I am 100 percent confident with my final decision. I feel great about it and I’m excited to get started.”An early enrollee, Yeldon becomes the 22nd commitment for Alabama's class of 2012 and is joined at the running back position by Kenyan Drake. He was recently named MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game and rushed for 2,193 yards and 31 touchdowns during his senior season.
"T.J. blends good size with great power and speed," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He shows explosive big-play capabilities, good movement skills, and is able to cut on a dime. He's a reliable receiver and also a very reliable between the tackles runner."