Alabama’s already depleted defense just got a little thinner.
Junior cornerback Kareem Jackson announced his intentions to enter the NFL draft and skip his senior season at Alabama.
It was a decision Jackson said he “thought long and hard” about.
“I set a goal and made a promise to myself and my parents to finish my degree so I definitely plan on doing that,” Jackson said in a news release. “I look forward to coming back to visit everyone because the University of Alabama has become my second home and my second family.”
Jackson’s departure dealt another blow to the returning defense that ranked second nationally in 2009. Linebacker Rolando McClain also declared for the draft this week leaving just two of the 11 starters would be back for 2010 — freshman linebacker Nico Johnson and sophomore safety Mark Barron.
Most projections slot Jackson as a second- to-third round pick which would go against the advise coach Nick Saban typically gives underclassmen looking at the draft. He’s said sure first-round picks should make the jump.
In his three years with the Tide, Jackson played in 41 games and started in 40 including all 14 in the championship season. His 49 tackles ranked sixth on the team and his 13 passes defended ranked second on the team.