Alabama won the national title Monday night. Wednesday, the coaching staff learned that it would be losing three underclassmen to the NFL — wide receiver Calvin Ridley, defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne and running back Bo Scarbrough.
But AL.com reported that leading rusher Damien Harris is staying for his senior season.
Ridley announced on Twitter that he was turning pro.
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) January 10, 2018
Ridley (6 feet 1, 190 pounds) could be the first receiver off the board; at the least, he figures to be one of the first three. He led Alabama in receiving in each of his three seasons, and finishes his Tide career second in school history in receptions (224), third in receiving yards (2,781) and second in TD receptions (19).
The decision by Payne (6-2, 308 pounds) was reported by AL.com and ESPN. Like Ridley, he is expected to go in the first round, though likely in the second half of the round. Payne, who the defensive MVP of the Sugar Bowl and the national championship game, is a prototype nose tackle for 3-4 teams.
Scarbrough’s decision was reported by AL.com. He was a five-star recruit who didn’t come close to living up to the recruiting hype. The flipside: He has a lot of tread left on his tires because he never was a true feature back at Alabama. Scarbrough is a big man (6-2, 230 pounds) with good speed, and he definitely has an upside as a downhill runner; he also was the Tide’s second-leading receiver this season. He seems likely to be a middle-round choice.
Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick seems certain to turn pro, too, and safety Ronnie Harrison also is expected to bypass his senior season.
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