4 stars from Alabama’s nationwide championship staff, together with Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Mac Jones, are leaving early to enter the NFL draft.
Jones, extensive receiver Jaylen Waddle, cornerback Patrick Surtain II and defensive lineman Christian Barmore introduced their intentions to go away on Thursday — all are thought of potential first-round picks.
Jones arrived as a thin recruit together with rather more heralded prospect Tua Tagovailoa, a No. 5 total choose by the Miami Dolphins final season. Each performed behind younger quarterback Jalen Hurts, now with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“It’s simply been an awesome journey,” stated Jones, who completed third within the Heisman voting.
There are also a number of Alabama seniors thought of first-round picks, together with Heisman Trophy-winning extensive receiver DeVonta Smith, All-America tailback Najee Harris and Outland Trophy winner left sort out Alex Leatherwood.
Jones put collectively essentially the most prolific season of any Tide quarterback in his solely full season as starter. He was faculty soccer’s best passer and likewise led the nation with 4,500 passing yards and a 77.4% completion fee.
He stated he’s prepared for the subsequent step.
“Coach (Nick) Saban’s been educating all of us since we stepped on campus so we’re very conscious of how the draft works and issues like that,” Jones stated. “And all of us need to play within the NFL.”
Jones handed for 41 touchdowns and had simply 4 interceptions. Th quarterback, who has a grasp’s diploma in sports activities hospitality, had one in every of his greatest performances within the nationwide championship recreation win over Ohio State.
He competed 36 of 45 passes for 464 yards and 5 touchdowns within the 52-24 win. Jones gained each the Davey O’Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Surtain was a unanimous All-American, Jim Thorpe Award winner and Southeastern Convention defensive participant of the yr. A shutdown cornerback, he allowed 25 receiving yards or fewer 9 instances coming into the championship recreation.
“Since I used to be a child, my lifelong dream was to play within the NFL,” stated Surtain, whose father Patrick Surtain Sr. is a former NFL participant.
”I leaned on him loads,” Surtain stated of his father. “He’s been by way of this earlier than. I requested him quite a lot of questions main as much as this course of. He’s guided me the fitting method.”
Barmore was the defensive MVP of the nationwide title recreation, the place he had a sack and a pair of tackles for loss. Barmore led the staff with eight sacks and had three go breakups and three compelled fumbles.
“This was a really troublesome choice for me as a result of I like my brothers, the followers and I like taking part in soccer at Alabama,” he stated.
Waddle returned in a restricted capability within the title recreation after lacking a lot of the season with an ankle damage that required surgical procedure. However he had been one of many Tide’s most dynamic gamers as a receiver and punt returner.
Waddle had 28 catches for 592 yards and 4 touchdowns in six video games. He caught three passes for 34 yards towards Ohio State, regardless of clearly not being 100%.
“It was an awesome expertise,” Waddle stated. “To be trustworthy, after they instructed me I used to be going to have an opportunity to play, I already had it in my thoughts to play.
“It was nice to get again on the market with the staff and simply do it another time and exit the fitting method. That was what it was all about.”
Saban stated the gamers who’re leaving college with out levels promised they’d full the remaining necessities.
“I’m actually happy with every one in every of these guys,” the coach stated, “and so they’re at all times going to be a part of the College of Alabama and this system right here.”
Extra AP faculty soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25