Two Alabama players confirmed their plans to leave a year early for the NFL on Thursday. Star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and left tackle Cyrus Kouandijo will each leave Tuscaloosa with one year of eligibility remaining.
Clinton-Dix and Kouandijo are each expected to go in the early rounds of the draft, potentially in the first round. Head coach Nick Saban was complimentary of the two defensive standouts as they made their decisions official.
”They’ve done a wonderful job representing this institution, their families and this football program,” Saban said in a statements shared by the Associated Press. ”They’ve been a part of at least two national championships. I know it’s difficult for each and every one of these players to make decisions. They all love the University of Alabama and they have to make a difficult business decision about what is best for their future.”
”Everybody has a personal situation with their family,” Kouandjio said. ”We have to put everything – my degree, and all these things like family – it all comes together and you have to make a decision and stick with it.”
On Wednesday Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard announced his decision to turn pro as well. Alabama defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan has also decided to turn pro a year early.