Four days after dominating Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game, a trio of Alabama standouts declared their intentions of entering the 2013 NFL Draft.
During a Friday press conference, cornerback Dee Milliner and running back Eddie Lacy announced their decisions to forgo their senior seasons and head to the pro level. Although he could not attend the press conference, right tackle D.J. Fluker will also turn pro, according to head coach Nick Saban.
"They've been good teammates to the players that they've played with. They've both set a good example with their leadership, how they've affected their teammates in a positive way. And they've certainly been very, very effective performers in contributing to the success of our teams," said Saban.
Milliner, who is widely considered one of the best cornerbacks in the country, was a unanimous first team All-American and also received first team All-SEC honors. During his 2012 campaign, he registered 54 tackles, two interceptions, 1 1/2 sacks and broke up 20 passes.
"It's been a great experience for me, my three years being here," Milliner said. "I've become a better man."
Lacy is coming off an impressive performance in the championship game, where he rushed for 140 yards and totaled two touchdowns in Alabama's lopsided 42-14 victory over Notre Dame. He was the team's top rusher in 2012, amassing 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries.
"It was a hard decision," Lacy said. "At the end of the day, it was the best decision as far as my family and all of that is concerned."
Fluker, a redshirt junior, was a big part of Alabama's dominant offensive line which helped produce two 1,000-yard rushers in 2012. He started all 13 games for the Tide in 2012 and missed just 11 assignments over 728 snaps.