There are just a couple of more days left for underclassmen to make their decisions on whether or not they will enter the NFL Draft with a year of college eligibility left on the table. On Saturday, three Alabama players had reportedly made up their minds to stay with the Crimson Tide for another year.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster and College Football Playoff championship game breakout star tight end O.J. Howard are all set to return to Alabama in 2016 to provide quality depth at three different positions.
Foster was Alabama’s second-leading tackler in 2015 with 73 tackles in all 15 games Alabama played en route to a national championship. Foster had 48 solo tackles and a sack along with eight tackles for loss. Allen led the Crimson Tide in tackles for loss with 14.5 and 12.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. The returns of Foster and Allen will help make one of 2015’s top front sevens in the nation one of the best once again in 2016.
Howard was Alabama’s third-leading receiver in 2015 with 602 yards and two touchdowns, but he seemed to fly well under the radar in Lane Kiffin‘s game plan for much of the season. After recording no more than 70 yards in any one game during the regular season and having 10 games with 40 or fewer receiving yards, Howard had a huge impact on Alabama’s national championship victory by breaking out for 208 receiving yards and both of his touchdown catches of the year against Clemson. Given his impact on the championship game and with the early departure of Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry, perhaps Howard is going to see a bigger role designed for him in 2016.
Underclassmen have until Monday at 5 p.m. eastern to declare themselves eligible for the 2016 NFL Draft.