Alabama Football: It’s decision day for Crimson Tide players – Bama Hammer

Alabama Football: Check out what Tide players are leaving and which ones are staying, on decision day in Tuscaloosa

For some Alabama football players, Jan. 18 is ‘Decision Day’ on choosing to declare for the NFL Draft. College, draft-eligible players actually have a 72-hour window after Jan.18, if they declare a move to the NFL and change their mind.

Roster management for the 2021 season is more complicated this year. The NCAA will allow any player, having used their final year of eligibility by playing in 2020 to play an additional season of college football. In an extreme case, where previous medical hardships have been awarded, like Alabama football player, Josh McMillon, a player can have a seventh season on a team.

Another wrinkle for 2021 roster management is players who ‘opted-out’ of college football during the 2020 season will not lose a year of eligibility. Alabama football player, Keilan Robinson can return in 2021 as a sophomore as he would have been in 2020.

Layered around the new circumstances is the transfer portal that has forever changed college football. The NCAA did not move forward with the proposal to give players a free pass for one transfer in their college career. Any player can transfer. The NCAA will still rule on whether he must sit out a season.

Alabama Football Roster Status as of Jan. 18

Leaving for the NFL
  • DeVonta Smith
  • Najee Harris
  • Christian Barmore
  • Alex Leatherwood
  • Patrick Surtain II
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • Mac Jones
  • Dylan Moses
  • Deonte Brown
  • Carl Tucker
  • Landon Dickerson (unannounced but expected)
  • Miller Forristall (unknown)
  • Ben Davis (unknown)
  • Josh McMillon (unknown)
  • LaBryan Ray (likely to return to the Crimson Tide)
Returning to the Alabama Crimson Tide
  • Christian Allen
  • Josh Jobe
  • Chris Owens
  • Brian Robinson
  • Phidarian Mathis
  • Daniel Wright
  • Keilan Robinson (not firm but has given indications of returning)
Entering the Transfer Portal
  • Eddie Smith
  • Joseph Bulovas

Alabama football fans should expect more players to enter the transfer portal over the next few weeks. With the one-time relaxation of the 85-man scholarship limitation, there will be more players competing at some positions than in a normal year.

For the Alabama Crimson Tide, great players and great people come and go. What never changes is what Nick Saban brings to his profession. Not long after the 2020 team won a seventh National Championship for Saban, the GOAT said,

You can talk about the 7 that we won, but the 2 that haunt me are the two that we lost.

What Nick Saban has meant to Alabama football is immeasurable.

This post will be updated throughout the Day on Jan. 18 as new player announcements are made.

While Nick Saban juggles player roster decisions, he is busy filling coaching staff vacancies. So far, four positions have come open and one is filled but not officially announced. Check back with Bama Hammer for the latest coaching news.

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