Tide’s Coffee to skip senior season

Published 3:24 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama running back Glen Coffee will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft after a breakout season with the Crimson Tide.

Coffee announced his decision Friday, following star offensive lineman Andre Smith into professional football.

“I really enjoyed my time at the University of Alabama, but I think it is the right time for me to move on to the NFL,” Coffee said in a statement. “Alabama has been a tremendous place for me to develop as both a football player and a person. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of coaches.”

The Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native told the Mobile Press-Register that the NFL draft advisory board projected him as a mid-round pick.

Coffee ranked second in the SEC with 1,383 yards this season after starting only three games in his first two seasons. He gained 218 yards against Kentucky.

Coffee’s 117-yard average in league games was tops among SEC backs.

Mark Ingram will be the most likely successor in the backfield. He was the league’s No. 6 rusher with 681 yards and a team-best 11 touchdowns.