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Nick Saban switches injured recruit's scholarship to grayshirt

  Nick Saban has asked one of Alabama’s top football commits – who is recovering from a knee injury – to delay his enrollment or take a grayshirt.

  Bradley Bozeman, a 4-star offensive lineman from Roanake, Ala., was officially informed of the personnel decision during his official visit to Alabama this weekend, according to multiple reports. Bozeman has been committed to the Crimson Tide since June.

  "Coach Saban switched my scholarship to a grayshirt," Bozman told Rivals.com’s Andrew Bone.

  "I have known about it for about two months. We have been keeping it on the down low. We didn't know for sure if that was going to be the option. It was due to the ACL injury. It will give me more time to get stronger.”

  By accepting Saban’s grayshirt offer, Bozeman will not be able to sign papers with Alabama next month. Instead, Bozeman will join the team in January 2014.

  “Gray-shirting” is a creative way and controversial way to circumvent the SEC’s new over-signing rules on a 25-man annual limit on class size. Some have accused Alabama of using it in an unfair manner to provide upgrades over injured recruits when scholarships are limited.

  Last year, Alabama was involved in two “grayshirt” controversies with kids who were both committed to the Crimson Tide and recovering from knee injuries.

  Former North Atlanta High School running back Justin Taylor, who had been committed to Alabama for nearly a year, was asked by Saban to take a grayshirt only a few weeks before signing day. He initially agreed, but later switched and signed with Kentucky so he wouldn’t have to grayshirt. After safely signing with Kentucky, Taylor revealed his candid thoughts HERE.

  On last year’s signing day, there was dramatic video HERE of defensive lineman Darius Philon of Vigor, Ala., who had been committed to Alabama for six months and was asked to take last-minute grayshirt offer. Philon, like Taylor, was recovering from knee surgery. Philon ended up signing with Arkansas later that day without taking an official visit there.

  This year, Alabama is putting together another recruiting class that will contend for the No. 1 spot in the team rankings with 21 commitments (20, if you count Bozeman toward 2014).

  However, the Crimson Tide may be running out of slots as they approach the final stretch of recruiting. They are likely to sign around 26, and are top contenders for around 10 more elite prospects, including three from Georgia – Norcross High School RB Alvin Kamara, Ridgeland High School safety Vonn Bell and Dooly County High School DT Montravius Adams.

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