NFL Draft 2012: Trent Richardson, Other Alabama Players Expected To Announce Thursday

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after their 37-6 win over the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Trent Richardson and some top Tide defenders are expected to announce their NFL Draft decisions at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

When the Alabama Crimson Tide dropped off the note Wednesday afternoon that Nick Saban would be holding a press conference Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, Bama fans shook with worry while the rest of the college football world had a pretty good time. Saban's clearly going to announce his retirement, now that he's solved college football forever.

The actual content of the presser turned out to be far less dramatic. Bama players will announce their NFL Draft intentions.

Running back Trent Richardson, a likely first round pick, is the biggest name expected to be there. Just before Monday's game, he was still offering up pros and cons on the decision:

"It's going to be a good decision, but it's still tough," Richardson said in the locker room. "I'm only a few hours away from my degree.

"At the same time, I've got mouths to feed. I'm going to go talk to coach and sit down with my momma and see."

Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Robert Lester also have decisions to make, though Lester's already reportedly chosen to stay.

If the Tide's defense takes a hit, the offensive line sure won't. Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones is coming back, as are tackle D.J. Fluker and guard Chance Warmack.

For more on the Tide, visit Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll.

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