After dropping hints of staying, Mack Wilson comments on looming NFL decision
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After dropping a hint on social media that he might be staying at the University of Alabama for his senior season, junior linebacker Mack Wilson told reporters on Monday that he won't make up his mind until after the College Football Playoff.
“I’m just focused on this next game and, hopefully, we go to the championship and that game,” Wilson said. “Then after that, I’ll sit down with my family and make the best decision, do what’s best for me.”
When specifically asked of he had made a decision, Wilson responded with:
“Nah. As far as I know, I’m here.”
Wilson has been hailed as a possible first-round draft pick, or at minimum one of the two best interior linebackers should he forego his final year of eligibility, along with LSU's Devin White.
It was when Wilson congratulated White on social media for winning the Butkus Award for best linebacker in college football that he made the comment that many took to mean he's returning, with "I’m coming for it next year."
Wilson has 63 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack, with two interceptions, five pass breakups and six quarterback hurries. He was named a second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, and second-team All-SEC.
Nick Saban usually encourages players who are widely considered first-round talent and those who can't improve their draft stock to leave early and finish up their degrees later.
However, Wilson could definitely improve his draft stock by returning to the Crimson Tide.
Alabama has begun installing the game plan for the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma (Dec. 29, 7 p.m. CT, ESPN). Wilson's obviously a big key to that as he relays the defensive calls from the sideline and is responsible for pre-snap adjustments.
"It's fun," he said about practices starting back up. "It just feels like we're going back to Day 1, square one. Everybody's just working on themselves, like we're working to be a stronger unit, build brotherhood, whatever you want to call it. It's just basically fundamental football all over again. I feel like it's an advantage to us because I don't feel like every team in the country's doing that."