Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard announced Friday that he will return for his redshirt junior season with the Crimson Tide. Hubbard is passing on the NFL Draft, unlike teammates Eddie Lacy, Dee Milliner and D.J. Fluker, who all announced earlier in the day that they will be leaving school early.
Hubbard played in all 14 games for Alabama in 2012, starting 13. He had an impressive year for the Crimson Tide, compiling 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks to go with his 41 tackles. Hubbard also had four quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and one pass break-up.
Hubbard listed a variety of reasons to stick around at Alabama:
"I had a chance to take a step back and weigh my options after the championship game and I felt it was in my best interest to return next season," said Hubbard. "I feel like I can play a bigger role as a leader on our defense and I also know I need to improve in some areas as a player before I hopefully take the next step to the NFL. One of my goals when I came to the University of Alabama was to earn my degree and I'm on track to graduate next December. This is a great place, I've got great teammates and coaches, and I'll know when it is the right time to move on to the next level."
Head coach Nick Saban said he is pleased to have Hubbard back in the fold next season:
"Adrian has done a really good job for us and has continued to improve each season he's been here. He'll be counted on from not only a production standpoint, but also a leadership standpoint on next year's team."
Hubbard will be a key player as the Crimson Tide try to win their fourth national championship in five seasons next year. Alabama claimed its 15th national title with a 42-14 rout of Notre Dame in the BCS Champioship Game on Monday.