November 30, 2011

Yeldon to take official visit to UA

With time running out, the University of Alabama continues to put the full-court press on Auburn commitment and five-star running back T.J. Yeldon.

On Tuesday, UA coach Nick Saban made in-home visits with both Yeldon and UA commit Ryan Anderson, Yeldon's close friend and teammate at Daphne High School. Despite committing to rival schools, the two have remained close throughout the recruiting process.

"I think (the in-home visit) went well for both them, nothing earth-shattering either way," Daphne assistant coach Mike Vickery said. "I think they enjoyed the company, and it went as well as it could, probably."

After the visit with Saban, word leaked out on Wednesday that Yeldon plans to take his official visit to Alabama this weekend, and Anderson will join him in Tuscaloosa on an unofficial visit.

"As far as I know, both T.J. and Ryan are coming up there," Vickery said. "It's been planned for awhile. We weren't telling anybody about it, but I guess the cat's out of the bag.

"I don't think there's anything they can hurt themselves with (from a visit). T.J.'s been there so many times. I think the familiarity is already there. I don't know if there's anything in particular that can happen, but it doesn't hurt anytime you can get somebody on campus for a weekend."

It may be one of the final chances Alabama gets to make an impression on the Rivals100 running back, as he plans to enroll early at whatever school he chooses. Both players are also expected to take part in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game next week.

"I don't see (a flip) happening at all, but if it did, it would definitely have to be here pretty quick," Vickery said. "They both play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game next week, and, of course, T.J. is in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Everything will happen pretty quickly."

Anderson was invited to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Dallas on Dec. 31 but turned down the invitation because he wanted to concentrate on getting ready to enroll early at Alabama.

With the two players so close, it's no surprise that Anderson is still working on Yeldon, trying to get him to switch his commitment and join him at UA.

"They're very close," Vickery said. "I'm sure they are talking to each other about it, but more from a joking standpoint. Around us and around people, it's more of, 'You don't need to be wearing those Under Armour uniforms' kind of thing. (Under Armour designs Auburn's uniforms.) But I'm sure there's some influence going on there, both ways."

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.

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