Joshua McMillon on his decision to return: 'We went 11-2, I don't want to end my college career on a bad note like that'
For many college football programs, an 11-2 season would be cause for celebration and a lasting image that would be remembered for decades.
Of course, it goes without saying, Alabama isn’t like most college football programs.
No, at Alabama, a “disappointing” 11-2 season is reason enough to return with a vengeance the following season.
That’s been a common theme this training camp as Nick Saban and his players have echoed their disappointment in last season’s 11-2 campaign.
The latest player to express his frustration with last fall is linebacker Joshua McMillon, who passed on the opportunity to leave for the NFL in order to pursue a sixth season in Tuscaloosa.
Unfortunately, McMillon was lost for the season due to injury this time last year and it sounds like it was difficult for him to watch the action from the sidelines in 2019.
When asked about his decision to return for one more season, McMillon pointed toward the failures of last year’s team as a prime reason for returning.
“It wasn’t much going into the decision, I mean, it was just a bad taste in my mouth from the past season. We went 11-2 and I don’t want to end my college career on a bad note like that,” McMillon said on Tuesday. “I don’t think anyone who came to the University of Alabama would want to end their season like that.
“So, just being here, being a leader, seeing other guys in a path and not living to that standard, it didn’t feel right leaving.”
Interestingly, that’s a similar message conveyed by offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood when he was recently asked about returning for his senior season.
“What went into my decision was basically, I felt like I left a lot on the table as a player and I felt like I had a lot more to offer,” Leatherwood said last week. “I just wanted to come back and capitalize on that and also the way the season went last year.
“It wasn’t how us or anybody else expected to go and I wanted to come back and leave on a way better note than what we did.”
It’s not like we’ve ever had to question the level of commitment or motivation in Tuscaloosa but it appears the entire program is locked in and ready to avoid the mistakes made last season on the field.