No need to bury the lede here. Longtime Alabama beat reporter Christopher Walsh, who now covers the Crimson Tide for Sports Illustrated, shared a piece by colleague Cary L. Clark that might make you a tinge excited.
A large number of Alabama juniors are thinking about staying for 2020 season: https://t.co/1ApYbRenAI pic.twitter.com/iKvaF2949U— Christopher Walsh (@BamaCentral) December 9, 2019
There are a LOT of names not mentioned yet who seem at this point to be leaning toward staying. Among those I’m hearing are least 75 per cent certain to remain on the Crimson Tide roster are quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, and linebackers Dylan Moses and Terrell Lewis.
Linebacker Joshua McMillon is reportedly in very good shape to have a sixth year of eligibility added by the NCAA, though that is not yet official.
He lists Najee Harris, Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jerry Jeudy as three who are definitely gone, and Xavier McKinney as a 50/50 shot.
Folks, that would mean that three of these receivers would return along with four starters on the offensive line. On defense, Terrell Lewis would be here to lead incoming studs Chris Braswell, Drew Sanders and Will Anderson, and all of a sudden there would be two seniors leading the defense inside?
Things can obviously change so we don’t want to get our hopes up, but Walsh has a solid enough reputation and wouldn’t report this if he didn’t feel good about it.
Hope for the best.
NOTE: BamaCentral is hearing conflicting information on Terrell Lewis, who did participate in Alabama’s Senior Day ceremony. A source close to the situation says he’s not likely to return to the Crimson Tide and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Admittedly, Lewis would have been the most surprising of all considering his long injury history. We will update if any new information comes in.