ON THE SIDELINES : McCants 'Plans to Be a Senior'

From Times Wire Services

All-America linebacker Keith McCants told a Mobile newspaper that he will return for his senior year at Alabama, but an Atlanta newspaper reported today that he will pass up his final season to enter the NFL draft next year.

"The way I see it, Keith McCants is a junior at the University of Alabama, and I'm planning on being a senior," he said in a Mobile Press Register interview published today.

McCants finished second Monday in voting on the Butkus Award that goes to the nation's top linebacker. "As far as the Butkus Award goes, I came in second but I feel like it's a tremendous honor to be one of the finalists being that I'm only a junior. So I've got another year to get it," McCants told the Mobile paper.

The Atlanta Constitution, however, quoted unidentified sources close to McCants and the school's athletic department as saying that the 6-foot-5, 256-pound junior would bypass his senior year.

Crimson Tide Coach Bill Curry has told several staff members that McCants will leave Alabama after this season, the newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

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