In some surprising news, published reports confirm that 2009 Alabama signee Anthony Orr will greyshirt and defer his enrollment at Alabama until January of 2010. Many people in Hoover were wondering exactly what was taking place with Orr when his name was conspicuously absent from the roster of the Alabama media guide, and with the greyshirt being confirmed it now all makes sense.
This one admittedly does come as a bit of a surprise. Greyshirts have long been considered a possibility for the 2009 class, but Orr has generally not been one of those mentioned as a legitimate greyshirt possibility. Orr was a pretty highly-touted recruit coming out of Sparkman High school, and he was considered by many to be one of the state's top players. He picked Alabama over offers from Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson, and others, and he was a good student in the classroom so academics were never a real concern. Furthermore, to the best of everyone's knowledge, Orr has also been healthy, and is not currently recovering from an injury.
My gut instinct on this one is that Orr -- an admitted lifelong diehard follower of Alabama football -- probably chose to take one for the team and greyshirt. He was almost certain to redshirt in 2009 regardless, and if this helps us with the 85, then perhaps that is why he deferred his enrollment. Besides, the 2010 class is obviously going to be very thin on defensive linemen, so perhaps delaying the start of his eligibility clock will only help get him further playing time in the future. At any rate, obviously we do not know anything for certain, but that is my best stab at it. Aside from issues regarding the limit of 85, I know of no other reason as to why Orr would greyshirt.