Bama's Fluker says he's not turning pro

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WTVM) - Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker did his best on Tuesday to squash talk that he will make himself available for the 2012 NFL Draft.

The 6-6, 335 pound redshirt sophomore released a written statement that made explicit his intentions to play for the Crimson Tide next season.

"I know there have been a few stories and different things out on the message boards lately about me possibly leaving school early," Fluker's statement began.

"I want to go ahead and put all of that to rest and make it clear that my intentions are to stay in school. At my position, I still have a lot to learn in order to mold myself into the best offensive tackle I can be. I've learned a lot from my coaches in my three years here and I feel like I can only get better with more experience.

"The most important reason is to finish my degree. Right now, I am on track to graduate next December and that's one of the things I promised my mother that I would do when I decided to come to the University of Alabama.

"This is a special place and I'm looking forward to spending another year with my friends and teammates, graduating, and playing in front of the best fans in the country."

Both starting guards, Chance Warmack and Anthony Steen, will return, while Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones still has another year of eligibility if he decides not to turn pro after his junior season.