Just days after three prominent Alabama Crimson Tide players announced their intentions for the 2023 NFL Draft, two key pieces of the school’s secondary are following suit. Safety Jordan Battle and Eli Ricks both declared for next April’s draft on Tuesday.
Ricks was one of the school’s biggest transfer additions in the offseason after joining the team from LSU; the five-star cornerback started five games over 11 appearances, recording four pass breakups to go with 13 tackles.
“I am excited to continue my journey and have decided to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft,” Ricks said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I appreciate the opportunity to further my education and to play on a stage that allowed me to display my God given talents. The relationships that I made with the staff and my teammates will last a lifetime. My journey started at LSU and everything that I learned there will forever be with me.”
Ricks also thanked his coaches, family, friends, pastor and fans for all of their support throughout his college career.
Ricks earned his first start in a breakout performance against Mississippi State, but after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery during the 2021 season, he was limited for much of the offseason.
He was much more effective in Louisiana, recording five interceptions and five pass deflections over his 16 games at LSU, earning him Freshman All-SEC honors. He was rated as the top cornerback and No. 6 overall players in the 2020 class.
Battle also announced his intentions for next April’s draft on Tuesday; the 22-year-old was a key part of Alabama’s secondary, especially in their lopsided 45-20 win over Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.
“I am grateful for all of the memories I have created at the University of Alabama,” Battle said on Tuesday. “I am blessed and grateful to have played here and excited for the next chapter in my life as I enter the NFL Draft.”
Eli Ricks and Jordan Battle will join quarterback Bryce Young, running back Jahmyr Gibbs and edge rusher Will Anderson Jr., who all declared for the NFL Draft earlier this week.