White, who graduated in December, decided to return for his fifth season with the Tide after discussing his future with the Tide’s coaching staff and his family. Savage said White “absolutely” made the right decision.
White caught 32 passes for 534 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. For his career, he has 54 receptions for 790 yards and eight touchdowns.
“He’s got to show more consistency next year,” Savage said. “I think he’s a fabulous talent. His redshirt year, he let up the ‘Bama defense. There have been times where he has kind of flashed that sort of ability. But I think it’ll be his turn next year so I thought that was a real wise decision.”
The official list of underclassmen to declare early for the NFL draft set a record. According to NFL.com, 98 underclassmen submitted a written application to renounce their remaining eligibility. Up 25 players from a season ago, the number has increased six years in a row.
Last year, 73 underclassmen declared for the draft and only 52 were drafted.
“I think it’s an issue … something for the good of the game, both at the college level and NFL level, it’s going to have to be addressed one way or the other,” Savage said. “When you see almost 100 underclassmen come into the draft and there’s 250 some-odd slots, there’s going to be a lot of kids that have been sold a bill of goods come May.”
Savage noted that the brief careers of NFL players could be forcing players to decide to leave before they’re actually ready.
“With a career span of a little over three years, but not quite four, it tells you that most of the players do not get to that second contract,” Savage said. “That’s what they’re kind of being encouraged ‘Hey, you have to get plugged in the system and get to that second contract.’”
Savage said the rising number isn’t good for any of the parties involved and that the quality of the game is suffering because of it.
“Personally, I think it’s bad for college football and I think it’s bad for the NFL because players are coming into the league after three years in college, and they’re not ready,” Savage said. “I think the talent, the size and the speed is better than it’s ever been. But the actual technique and the understanding of the game is probably worse.”