Tidesports.com’s Aaron Suttles has an exclusive interview with former Russellville High standout—and current Alabama signee—Brent Calloway.
Unfortunately, the interview is behind the Rivals.com paywall, so if you want to read the whole thing—and I’m sure you probably do—you’ll have to sign up or use your existing Rivals.com membership.
However, here are a few interesting snippets to whet your appetite. From this interview, it’s clear that the Winston family and Brent Calloway have been through enough.
Q: Why did you have a change of heart and switch to Auburn?
A: From what they had told me, it was a bigger opportunity for me because they told me they were only going to recruit me as a running back. That would leave me, (Michael) Dyer and a walk-on in the backfield. I was like, 'That's fine.' They told me if I switched they would sign just me. So I switched. I said if I'm going to fight for a position, and I wanted to play running back any way, but (Alabama coach Nick Saban) told me I could play running back regardless if I wanted to at Alabama, but I'm like it's too deep at running back at Alabama. So I said, 'OK, I'll just commit to Auburn.' My home boy who I was tight with, Jonathan Rose, me and Jonathan Rose (who signed with Auburn) are like best friends. We stayed together all the time. In every game I played in and all the functions I went to, we stayed together every single time. I felt like this is a guy I've got down there that I can trust and count on when or if something goes wrong. Then me and Erique Florence (who also signed with Auburn) got tight. And my brother goes to Tuskegee, which is only 15-20 minutes from there. So I felt like, 'Hey, that's not a bad move.' I decided to go to Auburn.
Q: Why did you switch back to Alabama on signing day?
A: I was debating on whether to go back to Auburn that weekend because I had been the weekend before. Instead I went back to Alabama. When I got back to Alabama it was like, 'This is where I've really been. This is where I want to be.' Because they showed me love even though I switched on them on national TV. I didn't feel no hard feelings. I didn't feel awkward about being there. When I was there it felt like it had felt every time before when I was committed to them. That home-type feel. And I was like, this is where I've got to be. On top of that, Auburn signed three other running backs before I even signed. They were misleading me. Very misleading.
Q: On that weekend you went to Alabama instead of Auburn, did Darren or Peaches force you to go to Alabama, or was that your decision?
A: No, they can't force me to do anything. I'm 6-3, 225 pounds. You think they can force me to do anything?
If you have access or you’re considering the seven-day free trial at Rivals.com, then go do what it takes to read the whole thing.
There was never a reason to drag this young man’s good name—and the good names of his adoptive father and family friend—through the mud like this. There was never a good reason to accuse them of being paid thousands of dollars and being bribed with new cars and paid off mortgages. Like many 17/18-year olds struggling with the decision on where to go to college, the young Mr. Calloway tossed and turned. He made a decision, then changed his mind.
Then, he changed it back again. It’s college. It’s college football recruiting. It’s a difficult choice and the kid was clearly torn. But to have his father and his father’s close friend slandered AND libeled like this is wrong.
It’s just wrong.
Once and for all, Jeffrey Lee, it is time to leave Mr. Calloway, Mr. Winston and Mr. Woodruff alone.
Deal with it:
Now however, comes the curious question as to whether Coach Goodwin—Calloway’s High School Coach—should have been in any position to affect or influence Calloway’s college choice. Mr. Goodwin resigned from Russellville High School to take the Homewood High School Head Coaching job.
He submitted his resignation on January 16th, three weeks before National Signing Day. Media reports are not clear on when his resignation became effective, but recall that Mr. Goodwin is a 1984 graduate of Auburn.
That gets him in the running for the NCAA’s definition of a “booster.” And since he apparently had already accepted a position at another school, perhaps it is he—not Mr. Woodruff or Mr. Winston—who should face a little NCAA anal exam.
Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Steve Savarese may also wish to have a few words with you.