Barrett Jones explains why he’s returning for senior season

Barrett Jones changed my plans for today’s print story pretty quick Friday evening. The Outland Trophy Award winner made a surprising announcement. Read about it here:

TUSCALOOSA — Known as a deep thinker, Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones faced the biggest decision of his career with a list.

Pros on one side, cons on the other. It was only fair, since his future in Tuscaloosa hung in the balance.

Turns out, he’s pro waiting to go pro, as the Outland Trophy Award winner announced he will be back for a senior season.

“I don’t know if life gets much better than this. … It’s probably the most fun I’ve had being on a team in a long time,” Jones said after Friday afternoon’s practice. “I don’t know why that is. We have a real relaxed, great culture this year.”

Jones is the Tide’s third draft-eligible offensive lineman to commit to returning for next season. Right tackle D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack made the same decision in recent weeks as Alabama prepares for the Jan. 9 BCS National Championship Game against LSU.

Anthony Steen, a sophomore who started eight games at right guard, also is scheduled to return. And the injured knee of former top recruit and left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio should be healed by then.

Graduating center William Vlachos offered the first guess as to where the versatile Jones will land next season.

“He has a good chance he’ll probably play center next year,” Vlachos said. “That being said, I don’t make predictions who plays where on the offensive line. If you had told me a couple years ago that Drew Davis would be our starting right tackle in 2008, I would have said you’re crazy. But look what he went on to do. But I think there’s a chance (Jones) will play center.”

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