‘Bama All-America tackle Smith to enter NFL draft

Published 10:43 am Sunday, January 4, 2009

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama All-America left tackle Andre Smith, who was suspended for the Sugar Bowl, is skipping his senior season and will declare for the NFL draft.

Alabama associate athletic director Doug Walker confirmed Sunday that the junior Outland Trophy winner will leave but did not have details. Some NFL draft experts have said he could be a top 5 pick.

The Birmingham News reported that Smith said in a statement late Saturday that he made his decision after “much prayer” and talking with his parents and coach Nick Saban.

Saban suspended Smith for Friday night’s Sugar Bowl against No. 7 Utah because of alleged dealings with a sports agent. Alabama lost 31-17.