UA's Richardson, Hightower, Kirkpatrick NFL-bound

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama All-Americans Trent Richardson, Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick have declared for the NFL draft.

Richardson and Kirkpatrick announced their decisions to skip their senior seasons with the national champions while a spokesman says Hightower also isn't returning.

Richardson and Kirkpatrick are both projected as potential Top 10 picks.

Richardson won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and was third in the Heisman voting. He set school single-season rushing records with 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns.

He and Hightower were first-team AP All-America selections while Kirkpatrick was a second-teamer.

The Tide lost three underclassmen to the NFL last year, but wound up beating LSU 21-0 in Monday night's national title game. Kirkpatrick and Richardson were part of two national championship teams.