|January 25, 2014||Alabama holds on to defeat LSU 82-80|
|January 22, 2014||Nick Saban talks Tony Brown, DeAndrew White's return and underclassmen leaving early (video)|
|January 21, 2014||Alabama coach Nick Saban comments on Tony Brown's arrest|
|January 20, 2014||Check out the heights, weights of Alabama and Auburn's Senior Bowl representatives|
|January 19, 2014||Phil Savage says DeAndrew White 'absolutety' made the right decision to return|
|January 17, 2014||Alabama RB Alvin Kamara to transfer (report)|
|January 16, 2014||Alabama OC Lane Kiffin visits 5-star Auburn commit Roc Thomas|
|January 15, 2014||Alabama hammers Mississippi State 80-61|
|January 15, 2014||Alabama WR DeAndrew White officially returning for season|
|January 15, 2014||Alabama secondary coach Greg Brown expected to step down (reports)|
MOBILE -- Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White’s decision to return to school was praised by Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage.
White, who graduated in December, decided to return for his fifth season with the Tide after discussing his future with the Tide’s coaching staff and his family. On Sunday, Savage said White “absolutely” made the right decision.
White caught 32 passes for 534 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. For his career, he has 54 receptions for 790 yards and eight touchdowns.
“He’s got to show more consistency next year,” Savage said. “I think he’s a fabulous talent. His redshirt year, he let up the ‘Bama defense. There have been times where he has kind of flashed that sort of ability. But I think it’ll be his turn next year so I thought that was a real wise decision.”
The official list of underclassmen to declare early for the NFL Draft reached a record-high. According to NFL.com, 98 underclassmen submitted a written application to renounce their remaining eligibility. Up 25 players from a season ago, the number has increased six years in a row.
Last year, 73 underclassmen declared for the draft and only 52 were drafted.
“I think it’s an issue … something for the good of the game, both at the college level and NFL level, it’s going to have to be addressed one way or the other,” Savage said. “When you see almost 100 underclassmen come into the draft and there’s 250 some-odd slots, there’s going to be a lot of kids that have been sold a bill of goods come May.”
Savage noted that the brief careers of NFL players could be forcing players to decide to leave before they’re actually ready.
“With a career span of a little over three years, but not quite four, it tells you that most of the players do not get to that second contract,” Savage said. “That’s what they’re kind of being encouraged ‘Hey, you have to get plugged in the system and get to that second contract.’”
Savage said the rising number isn’t good for any of the parties involved and that the quality of the game is suffering because of it.“Personally, I think it’s bad for college football and I think it’s bad for the NFL because players are coming into the league after three years in college and they’re not ready,” Savage said. “I think the talent, the size and the speed is better than it’s ever been. But the actual technique and the understanding of the game is probably worse.”
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama’s backfield just got a little less crowded.
Running back Alvin Kamara was granted his release from the Crimson Tide and will transfer, according to 247Sports.
The report says Kamara spoke with Tide coach Nick Saban and that both parties agreed it was best he transfer.
Kamara is the second player to transfer this month after walk-on quarterback Luke Del Rio announced his plans to leave the team via Twitter.
Kamara, from Norcross, Ga., was one of four highly touted running backs in the Tide’s 2013 recruiting class. He didn’t see the field this season.
Kamara’s brief ride with the Tide wasn’t smooth.
He was suspended for the Sugar Bowl and also missed LSU week for what Saban called “behavior reasons.”
He also had knee surgery during preseason practice.
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama’s coaching staff didn’t waste anytime hitting the recruiting trail on with Thursday marking the end of the NCAA’s “dead period.”
The big news from the Crimson Tide’s side of things came from new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin heading to Oxford to visit five-star Auburn commit Racean “Roc” Thomas.
Oxford coach Ryan Herring confirmed that Kiffin was in Oxford and that he visited with Thomas for “about 30 minutes.”
The blue-chip running back prospect took some unofficial visits to Tuscaloosa last spring and fall, but has remained firm in his pledge to the Tigers.
“He’s 100 percent (committed to Auburn),” Herring told the Anniston Star. “I haven’t seen any change. I don’t think you’re going to see a change.”
Thomas, who was named Mr. Football for the state of Alabama on Wednesday, has been committed to Auburn since August of 2013.
At 5-foot-11, 200-pounds, Thomas rushed for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior.
With Auburn running back Tre Mason leaving early for the NFL Draft, Thomas could play a big role as a true freshman on the Plains.
Anniston Star reporter Brandon Miller contributed to this report.
TUSCALOOSA -- After announcing the news on Tuesday via Twitter, Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White is officially returning for his senior season.
The school announced the news on Wednesday.
“After sitting down with my family and Coach (Nick) Saban, I have decided to return to Alabama for my senior year,” White said in the schools news release. “I already have my degree and the chance to play in the NFL next year was something that I very much considered, but in the end I didn’t want to pass up my final year at Alabama. I have had the opportunity to speak with Coach (Lane) Kiffin and I'm excited about our offense and what we can accomplish next year as a team.”White, from Houston, Texas, has 54 career receptions for 790 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 14.6 yards per catch. He has played 30 career games over the past three seasons while making 13 starts. White caught 32 passes for 534 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama secondary coach Greg Brown is expected to step down from his position, according to multiple reports.
ESPN.com first reported the news.
Brown’s departure clears the way for Kevin Steele to return to an on-field coaching position after working as the director of player personnel, according to ESPN.com.
With Steele’s return, defensive coordinator Kirby Smart would go back to coaching defensive backs.
Steele was reportedly offered the defensive coordinator job at Louisville, but declined.
Steel was the Tide’s defensive coordinator under Nick Saban in 2007.
In one season at Alabama, Brown made a salary of $300,000.
Brown’s departure marks the Tide's third assistant coaching change since the Sugar Bowl. Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier left for Michigan and was replaced by Lane Kiffin. Defensive line coach Chris Rumph left for Texas and was replaced by Bo Davis.