If you thought the early exodus from Tuscaloosa was over, think again.
On his personal Twitter account Sunday night, Mack Wilson confirmed that, “after careful discussions with my family and many prayers,” he will be foregoing his remaining eligibility at Alabama and entering his name into the 2019 NFL Draft pool.
The inside linebacker had started 17 straight games for the Crimson Tide, including all 15 games this season.
Wilson is the seventh Tide player in the last three days to make early declarations, with less than 24 hours remaining until the deadline for submitting draft paperwork to the NFL passes.
Friday, it was confirmed that a quartet of Crimson Tide standouts — running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams — would be leaving Tuscaloosa early for the April draft. A day later, cornerback Saivion Smith made the same announcement via Twitter; earlier Sunday, standout safety Deionte Thompson did the same.
Not surprisingly, the exodus of Alabama football players for the NFL has continued.
Friday, it was confirmed that a quartet of Crimson Tide standouts — running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams — would be leaving Tuscaloosa early for the April draft. A day later, cornerback Saivion Smith made the same announcement via Twitter.
Sunday, on the same social media platform, standout safety Deionte Thompson announced that he too is foregoing his remaining eligibility in order to make himself available for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Thompson was second on the Tide in tackles this past season, earning first-team All-SEC honors. He was also a consensus first-team All-American for the 2018 season.
The deadline for players to file their draft paperwork with the NFL is Monday, Jan. 14.
Friday, Alabama confirmed that four Crimson Tide football players were headed to the NFL. This weekend, a fifth joined that quartet.
On his personal Twitter account Saturday, Saivion Smith wrote that, “[e]ven though this was a tough decision, I have decided to forego my senior season and will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.” The cornerback joins running back Josh Jacobs, tight end Irv Smith Jr., offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams as Crimson Tide players who have made such decisions thus far.
Smith began his collegiate career as a four-star member of LSU’s 2016 signing class, but transferred in late May of 2017 and spent that season at a Mississippi junior college. In December of 2017, he announced he would be transferring back to the SEC as a member of Alabama’s 2018 recruiting class.
In his lone season with the Crimson Tide, Smith started 12 games and led the team in interceptions with three.
The Tide’s early personnel losses might not be over as at least one other player, star safety Deionte Thompson, is rumored to be doing a heavy lean toward declaring. The deadline for such declarations, incidentally, is Monday, Jan. 14.
National champion Clemson has seen a quartet of players leave early for the NFL since Monday’s title game, and now its opponent in that matchup is feeling the same personnel pain.
At a press conference Friday morning, three Alabama football players, running back Josh Jacobs, offensive lineman Jonah Williams and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (pictured), all confirmed that they are foregoing their remaining eligibility in order to make themselves for the April draft. Additionally, tight end Irv Smith Jr., who was not in attendance at the press conference, announced via Twitter that he’ll be doing the same.
Both of the Williamses were unanimous first-team All-Americans this season. Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top interior lineman, while Jonah Williams was a finalist for the same award.
Jacobs finished the 2018 season with 1,315 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns. He rushed for 640 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 20 passes for 247 yards and three scores. Jacobs added 14 kickoff returns for 428 yards and touchdown. In his three seasons at Alabama, he rushed for 1,491 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Smith was a second-team All-American who set a single-season school record for tight ends with seven receiving touchdowns in 2018.
On the positive personnel front, several talented players who could’ve left the Crimson Tide are returning.
It appears Nick Saban will be undergoing yet another extensive staff overhaul following the national title game for the second year in a row.
Per The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Michigan is set to hire away Alabama co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Josh Gattis. He is expected to be the Wolverines’ next offensive coordinator and likely will be calling plays, something he didn’t do with the Crimson Tide this past season.
The move only adds to the fairly extensive staff changes in both Tuscaloosa and Ann Arbor. Gattis’ fellow co-coordinator Mike Locksley was hired as the head coach at Maryland and Tide offensive line coach Brent Key just took a position at his alma mater of Georgia Tech earlier on Thursday. UM’s wide receivers coach Jim McElwain departed for the head coaching gig at Central Michigan in December and was one of a number of assists to leave Big Blue.
There’s little questioning the impact that Gattis had in his short stint with Alabama though, mentoring Jerry Jeudy to the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver as well as developing Jaylen Waddle, Henry Ruggs III, Irv Smith Jr. and several others. Prior to heading South, he spent four years at Penn State and played a big role in recruiting and coaching a handful of NFL guys in Happy Valley.
Gattis will join Pep Hamilton (passing game coordinator/QBs), Jay Harbaugh (running backs), Sherrone Moore (tight ends) and Ed Warinner (offensive line) on Jim Harbaugh’s offensive staff.