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Sumlin and Saban honor scholarships to players with career ending injuries

When a top high school prospect goes down with a career ending injury, a lot of programs not able to see past the "what can you do for our program?" line of thought are quick to take their scholarship offers off of the table.

That wasn't the case in two particular instances this year, where the staffs at Texas A&M and Alabama both decided to stick by kids that they had offered scholarships to, prior to them suffering career ending injuries. In the cutthroat world of major college recruiting, where recruiting rankings are looked at as gospel in some parts of the country, it's incredibly refreshing to see coaches like Saban and Sumlin doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Sumlin decided to honor their scholarship offer to Cedric Collins, who suffered an injury during his junior year that led to a discovery of a much bigger issue, which led to doctors telling him that putting on shoulder pads and a helmet again would be far too dangerous to seriously consider. Collins committed to the A&M staff nearly a year and a half ago, so credit Sumlin and his staff for sticking by their word and honoring Collins' scholarship.

For Saban and the Alabama staff (who wrapped up the #1 class in the country according to numerous recruiting services), their decision to honor the scholarship of Elisha Shaw after suffering a career ending injury before this season even started, made some shockwaves recently. Shaw was not informed that he wouldn't be able play football anymore until just recently, so coaches everywhere were still recruiting him pretty hard, up until he received the disappointing news.

I'm well aware that these will not count toward their official scholarship count, and that every year, right around this time, there are a handful of other staffs that make the decision to honor the scholarship of a player that, for whatever reason, is unable to continue his playing career at the college level. On behalf of coaches everywhere, I wanted to take a moment, and stand to applaud that decision.

Every staff says that "recruiting is all about relationships", but few are able to demonstrate it like Kevin Sumlin and Nick Saban did this year. Kudos to both staffs.

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.