Make it Alabama 3, NFL 1, on Jan. 14, 2016. What the score will be on the 15th of January of the same year remains to be seen.
Throughout various points the last two days, safety Eddie Jackson (Thursday) and linebacker Tim Williams (Wednesday) announced they were staying with Alabama for another season, while Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry will reportedly eschew another year in Tuscaloosa in favor of the NFL draft. Thursday evening, redshirt junior linebacker Ryan Anderson followed the lead of Jackson and Williams.
While it may not be surprising, the return of Anderson is big for a defense that, regardless of what other juniors decide, will be losing a substantial amount of talent.
Anderson has not started a game a game for the Tide, coming off the bench in all 42 of the games in which he’s played. However, Anderson was third on the team this season in tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (six). His six quarterback hits were tied for fourth.
In between the Henry report and Anderson announcement, Alabama confirmed in a press release that there is a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Friday in which all of the Tide’s draft-eligible players will discuss their individual NFL decisions.