On the losing end of a handful of players to early entry into the NFL, and needing to replace its long-time starting quarterback, Alabama will see an experienced member of its offense return for another go in 2014.
As expected, DeAndrew White announced Wednesday that he had opted against an early jump to the NFL and will instead return for his senior season. Wednesday was the deadline for draft-eligible underclassmen to file their paperwork with the NFL.
“After sitting down with my family and Coach [Nick] Saban, I have decided to return to Alabama for my senior year,” White said in a statement. “I already have my degree and the chance to play in the NFL next year was something that I very much considered, but in the end I didn’t want to pass up my final year at Alabama. I have had the opportunity to speak with Coach [Lane] Kiffin and I’m excited about our offense and what we can accomplish next year as a team.”
In 2013, White was tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns (four), third in receiving yards (534) and fourth in receptions (32). His 16.7 yards per catch led all Tide wide receivers. White’s breakout season came a year after he missed the final two-thirds of 2012 with a torn ACL.
While UA’s leading receiver, Amari Cooper, will return in 2014, the Tide will lose second-leading receiver Kevin Norwood (38-568-7) to expired eligibility.
Prior to the deadline, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were all confirmed early departures for the NFL. It had been reported that defensive back Vinnie Sunseri would eschew another season as well, but that’s not been confirmed.