Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison join Bama teammates in entering draft – ESPN

3:46 PM ET

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s quest to repeat as national champions will have to go on without a handful of key underclassmen who have opted to forgo their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft.

Defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison and running back Bo Scarbrough made their decisions official during a news conference in Tuscaloosa on Thursday.

Calvin Ridley, who caught 63 passes for 967 yards and five TDs for the national champs this season, was one of three Alabama players to declare for the NFL draft Wednesday.

Star wideout Calvin Ridley already decided to turn pro official on Wednesday, posting a note to his social media accounts. Coach Nick Saban confirmed that defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne would enter the draft as well.

“From a business standpoint, this is a good decision for them,” Saban said.

He added: “I can’t say enough about the contribution these guys have made. It seems like yesterday we were in their houses recruiting them.”

The good news for Saban and the coaching staff is that leading rusher Damien Harris opted to come back despite posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

When: April 26-28
Where: Arlington, Texas
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The receiving corps will be hurt by the loss of Ridley, who is one of only two players in program history to post 200 career receptions. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has him as the No. 1 draft-eligible wideout.

With Ridley off to the NFL, Alabama will likely turn to a talented crop of freshman receivers, including Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs

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