Nick Saban is once again railing against the rising number of collegiate underclassmen leaving school early for the NFL, and that includes several of his own now-former players.
Over the last three offseasons, Alabama has had 15 total underclassmen leave for the NFL, including 12 in the last two cycles with five in 2018 and a program-record seven this January.
That contingent represents a small number in a trend nationally after 135 underclassmen chose to forgo their collegiate eligibility this year, surpassing the previous-record 119 a year ago.
“It’s the culture and it’s the trend, and I’ve actually changed how I talk to recruits now,” Saban said Saturday following the team’s second scrimmage of spring practice. “I tell every recruit that I talk to the reason that you’re going to college is to prepare yourself for the day you can’t play football. I think we have a lot of people way back in high school, aight, that look at college as a conduit to get to the NFL. And … we’ve had six or seven guys here that had second- or third-round grades that became top-15 and first-round draft picks and made a significant amount of money doing that, so there’s some really good examples of guys that did it that way. … But I don’t think that, (and it’s) not just our players, there’s a significant amount of players that are not making good business decisions about what they do.”