TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard announced on Friday that he would return for his redshirt junior season to play for the Crimson Tide in 2013.
"I had a chance to take a step back and weigh my options after the championship game and I felt it was in my best interest to return next season," said Hubbard. "I feel like I can play a bigger role as a leader on our defense and I also know I need to improve in some areas as a player before I hopefully take the next step to the NFL. One of my goals when I came to the University of Alabama was to earn my degree and I'm on track to graduate next December. This is a great place, I've got great teammates and coaches, and I'll know when it is the right time to move on to the next level."
Hubbard played in all 14 games during the 2012 season while starting 13. He finished with 41 total tackles, including 11.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks. Hubbard recorded a sack in each of Alabama's last three games (Auburn, Georgia and Notre Dame). His 7.0 sacks ranked sixth in the SEC this season.
"We are pleased that Adrian is returning and I think that he made a good decision," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "Adrian has done a really good job for us and has continued to improve each season he's been here. He'll be counted on from not only a production standpoint, but also a leadership standpoint on next year's team."
The addition of Hubbard gives Alabama four veteran starters that will return for the 2012 season. He joins quarterback AJ McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley and offensive guard Anthony Steen who previously announced they would return. Earlier on Friday, running back Eddie Lacy, cornerback Dee Milliner and offensive tackle D.J. Fluker announced they would enter the NFL Draft.