The Anniston Star has learned of the situation from a source, who is familiar with Sunseri’s decision but has asked to remain anonymous because the source was not authorized to speak with the press. A message to Alabama’s athletics communications department was not returned.
Sunseri, a third-year junior, has not received his degree. Sunseri, who missed the second half of the season with a torn knee injury, was expected to be one of the team leaders in 2014. In 2013, Sunseri played in seven games and had 20 tackles and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.
The source also said wide receiver DeAndrew White likely will enter the draft. White, a redshirt junior, received his degree in December.
Although the source said White told teammates he was leaving, White stated that he was returning on Twitter later on Tuesday.
“I’m not going to the nfl draft this year. I am staying for my senior year,” White said in a Twitter post.
White suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2012, but rebounded in 2013 with 534 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Neither Sunseri nor White are expected to be high draft picks. Saban typically doesn’t encourage players to leave early if they don’t receive a first-round grade from the NFL advisory board. Of the 13 players in Saban’s Alabama program to declare for the draft before their eligibility was completed, 11 were taken in the first round. The exceptions were running back Glen Coffee (third round in 2009) and running back Eddie Lacy (second round in 2013).
With White having a change of heart, the Tide will five juniors early to the draft with safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan all entering the draft.
The deadline to enter is Wednesday.