Alabama football will be losing three junior standouts who helped lead them to the National title to the NFL.
After pummeling Notre Dame 42-14 to win the National Title, the Crimson Tide’s second consecutive title, running back Eddie Lacy, corner back Dee Milliner, and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker feel they have nothing left to prove at the collegiate level.
Head coach Nick Saban doesn’t expect any more juniors to declare for the draft. On the possibility, he says:
“We’ve been surprised in the past, but we hope this is it.”
CBS Sports projects all three players to be top 40 picks in April. Milliner is currently the top ranked cornerback and top 10 ten pick. He finished his season with 54 tackles, 1.5 sack, and two interceptions and led the SEC with 22 passes defended.
Lacy is the number one rated running back in the draft after finishing the season with 1,322 rushing yards with a 6.5 yard per average carry and 17 touchdowns.
Fluker is the number four ranked offensive tackle and widely considered a borderline first round pick. He started all 14 games for Alabama last season and leaves with 36 overall starts in three seasons.
USA Today was present at Lacy and Milliner’s news conference to announce their decision. Fluker did not hold a conference. Both Milliner and Lacy were humble for their experience and Alabama and grateful for the opportunity to play for such a prestigious program. Milliner says:
“It’s been a great experience for me, my three years here. … I’ve become a better man.”
“It’s been an amazing experience here. I’ve developed well as a person and a player.”
Alabama will be retaining quartertback AJ McCarron, who caused waves recently for dating Miss Alabama Katherine Webb.
Here is a video recap of the Crimson Tide’s victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game:
Do you think Milliner, Fluker, and Lacy are making the right decisions by declaring for the draft?