Thursday, December 20, 2012
Lacy, Milliner keep NFL choice on ice
By Alex Scarborough
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama starting tailback Eddie Lacy and starting cornerback Dee Milliner are holding off on plans for their future until after the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7. The pair of juniors will wait to determine whether turning pro and entering the NFL draft is the right decision for them.
Eddie Lacy (pictured) and Dee Milliner did not share their thoughts on potentially entering next season's NFL draft.
"I have not made a decision on that yet," said Lacy, who led Alabama with 1,215 yards rushing, Thursday afternoon. "That’s not something I’m thinking about at this time. We have another game left. I have to talk to my parents about it. I have to talk to Coach (Nick) Saban about it.
"That’s an external factor that we cannot allow us to affect us right now. So after the bowl game, after we sit down, we’ll make a decision."
Milliner, whom some consider the top draft-eligible cornerback in the country, said he's taking the same route. For now, he wants to focus on Notre Dame and the final game of the season for Alabama.
"I haven't taken the time out to think about it yet," he said. "After the game I'm going to sit down with my family and Coach Saban and make the best choice for my future."
Milliner, an AP All-American selection, is tied for third in the country in passes defended with 20. He has two interceptions this season and ranks fifth on the team in tackles with 51.
Lacy and Milliner's decision to hold off on any declaration to turn pro comes on the heels of two of their teammates saying publicly that they would return for their senior seasons. Quarterback AJ McCarron said last week that he would come back to Tuscaloosa for another year and linebacker C.J. Mosley did the same on Thursday.
"He's an outstanding player, a really good leader, a guy that can have a tremendous impact on the game," Saban said of Mosley. "We're really pleased and happy to have him back. It's important to him and his family to get an education. We're certainly pleased and happy that he's going to continue to develop.
"He's a guy that's gotten bigger and stronger every year. He's gotten to be a better and better player. I think next year, as he matures physically, he's even going to get bigger and stronger and continue to improve how physical he can play."
Mosley cited getting a degree as his biggest reason for returning. As far as getting bigger, that's something he can't control, he said.
"It's just my body frame," he said. "I'm not really made to be a big 250, 260-pound linebacker. I have to run with what I've got and use what I can."
Another factor was Mosley's ability to be a starter next season, something he's never done despite leading the team in tackles. He said being an every-down player and a starter was a hole in his resume.
"That was a big gap," he said. "Next year will be my turn to step up and become that every down player."
While Milliner was mum on his forthcoming decision, he had only positive things to say about McCarron's choice to return for his senior year.
"That means a lot," Milliner said. "He took big steps changing, being more of a vocal leader on the field. "To come back next year just means more experience on top of what he has now. If he comes back with the weapons we have at receiver, he can be unbelievable."
"Man, they're going to be very interesting and very scary for opposing defenses," Milliner said of the depth of the receiving corps. "You got a lot of guys that can go down the field as a vertical threat, a lot of guys that can go across the middle. We've got different guys that can do different things at all times."
McCarron said he considered the NFL, but knew that opportunity could wait.
"I just wanted to get it out of the way," He said. "I’m tired of people asking me about it. You know, family members, you get a call every once in awhile, friends or whatever, but my brother, he’s here now and has a real good opportunity to play and I wanted to play with him, really. I feel like I can still grow. Hopefully be able to showcase my talents a little bit more next year. And just grow as a quarterback and a leader, but my brother was a big part of that. I want to play with him."