Alabama's D.J. Fluker entering NFL Draft; Guard Anthony Steen returning
Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker will forgo his senior season in Tuscaloosa, and he will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, according to a report from TideSports.com.
The junior from Foley, Ala. has made 36 career starts for the Crimson Tide in his four years at the Capstone. He was a First-Team All SEC selection in 2012, and a Second Team AP All-American.
ESPN ranks Fluker as the 49th best prospect in this year's draft class, and he is projected to be selected in the first or second round of the draft.
With Fluker's departure, Alabama will have to replace three players on the offensive line with center Barrett Jones and guard Chance Warmack being lost to graduation.Right guard Anthony Steen returning for senior season
Alabama right guard Anthony Steen announced on Wednesday that he would return for his senior season to play for the Crimson Tide in 2013.
"After sitting down with my family and Coach Saban, I have decided it is in my best interest to return for my senior season," Steen said. "Getting my degree was one of my goals when I came to the University of Alabama, and I am on schedule to graduate this spring.
"I also think returning in 2013 will give me a chance to improve my draft status while also providing the opportunity to enjoy another season with my teammates, coaches and our fans. I enjoy Tuscaloosa and our fans way too much to leave early. We are also losing two great seniors this year and this will give me the chance to help get players ready for their new roles in 2013."
Steen, a native of Lambert, Miss., and graduate of Lee Academy, has started 25 games at the Capstone while playing in 40 contests. He is a two-year starter that helped Alabama rank 16th nationally and second in the SEC in rushing in 2012 at 227.5 yards per game. Steen helped block for two 1,000-yard rushers in 2012 (Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon).
"We are glad that Anthony has decided to return and he'll be one of the senior leaders of our offense," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "He's done an outstanding job for us as a starter at guard on the last two championships teams and I think he can become an even better player and improve his status for next year's draft with another season here.
"We always want to help our players make an informed decision when it comes to what is best for their future. One of our goals at Alabama is to help our guys develop a career off the field by graduating, which Anthony is on track to do this spring. We also want them to become the best football players they can be during their time here while working to win a championship and preparing them for the possibility of playing in the NFL. I think Anthony has made a very good decision in deciding to return and he has done it in the right way in terms of talking to all of the appropriate people, most importantly his family."
The addition of Steen gives Alabama three veteran starters that will return for their senior season in 2012. He joins quarterback A.J. McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley who announced they would return in December.