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Alabama QB Jones, WR Waddle, 2 other starters declare for 2021 NFL Draft

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Alabama QB Jones, WR Waddle, 2 other starters declare for 2021 NFL Draft
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones said Thursday that he is "prepared to realize his biggest goal yet" when he announced his decision to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. File Photo by Hans Deryk/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Four starters from Alabama's national championship team have decided to leave school early and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, cornerback Patrick Surtain and defensive lineman Christian Barmore on Thursday each said they will leave the Tuscaloosa, Ala., campus early to pursue their NFL dreams.

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All four players are expected to be selected in the first round of April's 2021 NFL Draft, as are Alabama senior running back Najee Harris and senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Senior linebacker Dylan Moses is a projected mid-round pick.

The talent-laden Crimson Tide demolished Ohio State in a 52-24 triumph in Monday night's College Football Playoff title game.

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Jones, who passed for 464 yards and five scores in the championship game, led the Football Bowl Subdivision this season in completion percentage and threw for 4,500 yards with 41 passing scores and four interceptions for the Crimson Tide over a 13-0 campaign.

"I came to the University of Alabama as a high school athlete and am now leaving as a championship quarterback, prepared to realize my biggest goal yet -- playing in the National Football League," Jones tweeted Thursday.

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Waddle, who played through an ankle injury in Monday's win, had three catches for 34 yards against the Buckeyes. He had 28 catches for 591 yards and four scores in six games this season before he was sidelined with the injury in October.

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Surtain had 37 total tackles, nine passes defensed, 3.5 tackles for a loss and an interception for a touchdown in 13 games this season.

Barmore, who led the Crimson Tide with three tackles and a sack on Monday, had 37 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes defensed in 11 games this season for Alabama.

"Coach [Nick] Saban, thank you for coming to Philadelphia and changing my life forever, and for believing in me," Barmore tweeted.

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The seven-round NFL Draft is scheduled to be held in Cleveland between April 29 and May 1.

Alabama defeats Ohio State for college football championship

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban celebrates with offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (L) and other players after a 52-24 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the NCAA National Championship football game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Monday. The win gave Saban his sixth national championship victory. Photo by Hans Deryk/UPI | License Photo

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