— The Sports Xchange —
Less than 48 hours after Alabama’s dramatic win over Georgia in the national championship game, three players for the Crimson Tide announced their intention to enter the NFL Draft.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne and running back Bo Scarbrough — all juniors — will not return for their final seasons at the school, Alabama.com reported, citing sources.
Another standout, running back Damien Harris, will forgo the draft and come back for his senior season, according to the website.
Ridley, who had 63 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns this season, later confirmed his future plans via social media.
“Preparing for a life after college football, regardless of what your future may hold, can be a scary proposition for many athletes especially those who DID NOT attend the University of Alabama,” Ridley wrote on Twitter. “Having been thoroughly prepared for that next step, I am truly ready, because in the beginning, I chose THE RIGHT SCHOOL.”
Projected to be a first-round draft pick, Ridley finished his career with the Crimson Tide with 224 receptions for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns.
No player boosted his stock at the end of the season more than Payne, who earned defensive MVP honors in both the national title game as well as the Alabama’s semifinal win over Clemson.
Payne had an interception against Clemson and registered six tackles in the come-from-behind win over Georgia that secured the school’s fifth national title in nine seasons.
Scarbrough, who served as the backup to Harris, rushed for 596 yards and eight touchdowns this season after racking up 812 yards and 11 TDs during his sophomore campaign.
Harris rushed for an even 1,000 yards and also scored 11 touchdowns this season. He also went over 1,000 yards (1,040) yards) as a sophomore.