TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – The annual Alabama sub-group drift to the NFL began again on Friday with four players coming out for the repechage, including star defensive lineman and potential top-five pick Quinnen Williams.
Offensive lineman Jonah Williams and running back Josh Jacobs also declared for the repechage at a Friday press conference. Irv Smith Jr., who was not present, announced his decision on Twitter.
– Irvin Smith Jr. (@swervinirvin_) January 11, 2019
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Smith could not be present because he was going to the wedding of his compatriot Hale Hentges.
Quinnen Williams was arguably the most dominant defensive player in the country after playing sparingly last season and defying the season before. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound native of Birmingham, Alta., Won the Outland Trophy, awarded to the best indoor football player in college football, and finished the season with 71 tackles, 19.5 tackles for the loss, 8 sacks and 12 fast passes. ESPN ranks it second among potential customers.
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Former Alabama co-coordinator of the offensive, Josh Gattis, left Tuscaloosa to become the coordinator of the Michigan offensive, school announced Thursday.
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"I think it's time for me to move on to the next stage of my football career and declare myself a candidate for the project," Williams said.
Jonah Williams, ranked # 12 by ESPN, started every game of his career in Alabama, first on the right tackle, where he was part of the Freshman All-SEC squad, then on the left tackle, where he was unanimous. All-American last season. The California junior, 6-5 and 301 pounds, only gave up two sacks in 831 offensive shots during the SEC's regular season and league match.
Jacobs, an Oklahoma junior weighing 5-10 pounds and 216 pounds, only started one game this season, but he finished in strength and racked up 640 yards and 11 touchdowns, 20 catches for 247 yards and three touchdowns.
Smith, the No. 2 ranked ESPN, had an excellent season after collecting 14 assists as a sophomore. He has 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. He is the son of Irv Smith Sr., a former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints who spent seven seasons in the NFL.