Fitzpatrick among 5 Alabama underclassmen entering National Football League draft


Matt Zenitz of first reported Harris' return to the Crimson Tide, which defeated Georgia on Monday night for the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Fitzpatrick joins teammates Ronnie Harrison, Bo Scarbrough, Da'Ron Payne and Calvin Ridley in leaving early for the NFL.

"I think it was a pretty clear decision with my family and my coaches", he said.

Alabama's quest to repeat as national champions will have to go on without a handful of key underclassmen who have opted to forgo their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

A precise route runner whom many analysts consider the No. 1 receiver available in this draft class, Ridley caught 20 career touchdowns and was the Crimson Tide's leading receiver in two of his three seasons.

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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). I would expect based upon what people think of his pass-rushing ability, he's definitely a first-rounder.

Just the third-ever victor of both the Jim Thorpe and Bednarik Awards in the same season-joining Charles Woodson and Patrick Peterson-Fitzpatrick is expected to be off the board in the first 10 picks of April's NFL Draft.

Some have the 6-foot-1, 202-pound defensive back as a better fit to play free safety at the next level.