Alabama Football: Looking to 2020, who goes and who stays for the Tide

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans are attuned to what Tua Tagovailoa will decide about the NFL Draft. More than a dozen other Tide players will also weigh NFL decisions.

On Thursday, Tua Tagovailoa will answer media questions at the Alabama football complex. Tua is, after all, still an Alabama football player. How long he remains a member of the Crimson Tide is not known and no announcement of a decision is expected Tuesday afternoon.

Eventually, Tua and his family will make what must be a business decision. Whether he opts for NFL early-entry or returns to Tuscaloosa for another season, Alabama football fans will support either decision. The young man has carved out such a special place in the hearts of Crimson Tide fans, collective wishes are for whatever is best for him.

A short piece of Tua’s recent interview with Kirk Herbstreit is included in the tweet below. He is such a fine young man, don’t miss the video.

Whatever Tua decides, winter will be tumultuous in Tuscaloosa. More than a dozen other Crimson Tide players will weigh NFL options. At the least, several will choose early-entry. Current Draft projections show six to nine Crimsom Tide players could be chosen in next April’s first round.

The early-entry process changed a couple of years ago. Now, schools can apply to the College Advisory Committee for up to five players to receive a pre-Draft grade. More on that process is available here. The feedback provided to players includes just three categories – a first-round grade, a second-round grade or neither.

Nick Saban has been specific in past recommendations. Any player not getting a first-round grade should probably try to improve their standing by another season of college football. Not all players listen.

The deadline to apply for early-entry is Jan. 20. In most cases, players will decide before that date and Saban will know it even if they have made no public announcement.

Whatever the final number becomes for early NFL entry, Alabama football will have considerable attrition. Seven seniors who had active roles this season will be gone. They are Raekwon Davis, Anfernee Jennings, Matt Womack, Trevon Diggs, Shyheim Carter, Jared Mayden and Tevita Musika.

The list of possibly exiting juniors includes Tua, Terrell Lewis, Dylan Moses, Alex Leatherwood, Jedrick Wills, Najee Harris, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Devonta Smith and Xavier McKinney. Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown and LaBryan Ray will also be draft-eligible. Redshirt senior, Josh McMillon is expected to apply for a medical hardship allowing him to return to the Tide for a sixth season.

Alabama football had a very young roster in 2019. The Tide could be even younger in 2020. A counterpoint comes from Greg McElroy. Wednesday morning on ESPNU radio, Greg repeated a rumor coming out of Tuscaloosa that some players expected to make a NFL move are strongly considering a return to the Tide in 2020.

Next. Changes since the Tide had two, regular season losses. dark

Even without a CFB Playoff run, January is going to be very interesting in Tuscaloosa. Bama Hammer will closely follow every development.