1. He might be the best tailback in college football.
Alabama Crimson Tide running back T.J. Yeldon's 2013 season got off to a modest start against Virginia Tech this year, with a 16-carry, 75-yard performance (one TD) all he could muster in 'Bama's 35-10 walloping of the Hokies. But make no mistake, the kid's legit; he's listed at 6'2 and 218 pounds, and as a true freshman, he burst onto the scene for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns as Eddie Lacy's backup last year. He forever etched himself into Alabama lore with this last-minute 28-yard screen TD to beat LSU:
Combine that with a mammoth 153-yard performance against Georgia in the SEC Championship and 108 more yards in the BCS Championship, and what you have is a big-game, big-time running back at the best program in college football.
2. He was once an Auburn commit.
Yeldon was a five-star prospect at tailback and has proven to be one of the prizes of the 2012 recruiting class, especially among offensive skill positions, and he was basically able to name whatever school he wanted to attend. For Yeldon, a native of Daphne, Alabama (right across the bay from Mobile in the southern tip of the state), for months that school just so happened to be Auburn. The Tigers had just won the 2010 national championship in Yeldon's junior year of high school, after all.
But though Yeldon committed to Auburn before the 2011 season, there would still be almost eight months before he'd be able to sign with the Tigers, and in that stretch Nick Saban put on the full-court press. Finally, in December, Yeldon switched his commitment to Alabama—right before a recruiting dead period that would last until early enrollment, when he became an Alabama student in mid-January.
Auburn fans were not pleased, as the stories and comment threads on College & Magnolia would attest. Auburn head coach Gene Chizik must not have been thrilled by the decommit either. He would later be fired after the 2012 season when his punchless offense scores fewer than 19 points a game.
3. His worst game of the season last year came against Texas A&M.
Despite topping 1,100 yards and racking up 13 total touchdowns, Yeldon's freshman season wasn't perfect, and not every game was great. Yeldon's worst performance came in Alabama's worst game, a 10-carry, 29-yard outing against Texas A&M. Alabama, of course, lost that game 29-24 and nearly found itself out of the BCS Championship before late losses by Oregon and Kansas State opened the door again.
Say, those two teams are playing today! What luck!