January 11, 2011

Three Alabama junior starters jumping to the NFL

Penn State actually held Julio Jones in check last season.
But it's sure better not to even have to worry about him
for 2011's matchup in University Park.
(Photo: Getty/Kevin C. Cox)
When your team is stacked with All-America talent all the way down to the scrub team, losing a handful of juniors early to the NFL Draft isn't so devastating as it would be for another average team.

But Penn State fans can't be disappointed to see that the Crimson Tide will lose 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram, receiver Julio Jones, and end Marcel Dareus--all three All-Americas--early to the 2011 NFL Draft.
2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, wide receiver Julio Jones and defensive end Marcell Dareus individually announced Friday their intent to skip their senior seasons.

Linebacker Dont'a Hightower joined the trio to announce his intent to return to Alabama. Two juniors still considering jumps are safety Mark Barron and wide receiver Marquis Maze.
Hightower is staying, which sucks. He's a fantastic linebacker, the same guy who lit up Rob Bolden last year into throwing a wounded duck interception in the red zone. It's probably a safe bet Maze and Barron will return, but I get the feeling Barron is more likely to jump.

Any way you look at it, it's three fewer All-Americans traveling to Beaver Stadium nine months from now.

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