Alabama signs ex-Georgia lineman Taylor, despite arrest

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor enrolled at Alabama, six months after Georgia dismissed him following an arrest for assaulting his girlfriend.

Alabama announced Wednesday that eight signees had started classes and were eligible to participate in spring practice, including Taylor.

Taylor was dismissed from Georgia in July 2014 following his arrest on aggravated assault and family violence charges. He played last season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi.

A University of Georgia police department report stated that Taylor punched and choked his girlfriend. Taylor also was among four Georgia football players arrested in March 2014 for receiving double payments for checks of $71.50 issued by the school’s athletic department.

University of Alabama spokeswoman Deborah Lane said that Taylor was admitted “following the same procedures that the UA Admissions office uses to evaluate any student who has dealt with legal issues.”

“The admissions process includes representatives from academic, legal, student affairs, student conduct, UAPD and counseling,” Lane said in an emailed statement. “Athletics is not involved in the admissions process. Taylor’s continued enrollment depends on his ability to fulfill all requirements the university has specifically mandated for him during his time as a UA student.”

Alabama also re-signed defensive lineman D.J. Pettway out of a junior college last year, 10 months after the school dismissed him. Pettway and three other Crimson Tide players were charged with robbery in Tuscaloosa.

In December, Alabama coach Nick Saban responded to a question about Pettway with a lengthy rant about giving players second chances.

“Where do you want them to be?” Saban said at the time. “Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? Want them to be in the street? Or do you want them to be here, graduating?”

The other January enrollees include three five-star prospects, quarterback Blake Barnett, running back Bo Scarbrough and defensive back Deionte Thompson.

Running back DeSherrius Flowers, defensive back Ronnie Harrison and offensive linemen Brandon Kennedy and Dallas Warmack are also mid-year enrollees.

Warmack is the brother of former Tide star and current Tennessee Titans player Chance Warmack.

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