Rolando McClain returns to Alabama to finish school, per Nick Saban

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Rolando McClain left Alabama a year early after a brilliant college career before becoming the No. 8 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. After his pro career his a bunch of snags and ended in early retirement, he'll finish up his degree.

Rolando McClain is out of college eligibility, but the NFL flameout has returned to school at Alabama after his professional football career didn't pan out.

McClain announced his retirement in April after just three seasons in the NFL, deciding to call it quits after another arrest. After making $23 million off of his rookie contract, he'll return to college to finish his degree and attempt to figure things out. His former coach Nick Saban welcomed McClain's return to school while taking questions at a charity event, per

"I know a lot of people get disappointed in Rolando McClain and a lot of the things he's struggled with," Saban said, "but he's with us now." "That guy was a phenomenal leader," Saban said. "He affected everybody in the organization at a time when we needed leadership because we had a lot of bad things happen when I first got there."

McClain was an All-American and earned the Butkus Award for the nation's top linebacker, as well as SEC Defensive Player of the Year on a 2009 Alabama team that won the national championship. After accomplishing pretty much everything a defensive player can accomplish in college, he opted to skip his senior year and was taken with the eighth pick in the NFL Draft.

But he never really panned out -- he only managed more than one sack in one of his three seasons -- and was waived by the Raiders after last year. And off the field, he couldn't stay out of trouble, picking up an assault arrest in Dec. 2011, giving false information to an officer in January, and earning a public disorder ticket for swearing at a police officer in April just a few days after signing with the Baltimore Ravens. Instead of fulfilling that contract with the Ravens, he opted to end his career, and now he's apparently back at school.

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