On Wednesday, Central-Phenix City offensive lineman Javion Cohen said he understood what happened after he decommitted from Auburn and flipped to Alabama. Still, like the elephant often associated with the Crimson Tide, Cohen insists he won’t forget.
Cohen spoke about the aftermath of his decommitment from Auburn when he officially signed with Alabama on Wednesday. While the four-star had a no-hard-feelings tone when talking about the Tigers, he also made it clear he’s looking forward to facing them in the 2020 Iron Bowl.
“Auburn did me wrong, most definitely. More power to them. I understand,” Cohen said. “D-Day, baby. D-Day. I know about that. It’s Respect Day. That’s all it is. When I get there on Nov. 28, it’s all I’ve got in my mind … I’m ready for it.”
Cohen originally committed to Auburn on June 1 and seemed set on signing with the Tigers until last week, when the situation went sideways. Cohen said he decommitted from Auburn as he prepared to commit to Alabama, but reports suggested Auburn pulled his offer as it became evident he was not going to sign with the team.
At the time, Cohen strongly refuted that he had his offer pulled.
On Wednesday, Cohen didn’t hold back when asked what made the difference in sticking with Auburn or instead going to Alabama.
“I trusted one staff more than the other,” Cohen said. “Coach (Nick) Saban, Coach (Kyle) Flood, Coach (Charles) Kelly, they all showed me a lot different (sic) than what I had at Auburn. Auburn had to do their thing, and I did my thing. That’s how it ended up.”
Cohen received considerable backlash on social media after his flip, but he thanked his supporters for helping him get through it. Cohen said on Tuesday night Alabama graduate assistant Tino Sunseri called him to offer words of encouragement and to remind Cohen that he needed to avoid the “small people” looking to ruin his big moment.
Cohen caught some flak for responding to some of the fans’ critiques, but he said Wednesday he plans to get better at ignoring them going forward.
Although Cohen spent part of his signing day talking about Auburn, his main focus was on the Crimson Tide. Cohen welcomed the chance to be a part of the Crimson Tide program, and he was admittedly in awe at how this opportunity came together in the first place.
“It’s important to me to win. I like winning, and the University of Alabama shows that. Every Saturday, they get out there. It’s nothing different outside of that. I just want to be a part of a winning team,” Cohen said. “Three years ago — my sophomore year — I started playing o-line for the first time. Who would have thought I’d be right here signing my letter of intent to the University of Alabama? It’s real special to me.”