HOOVER, Ala. — We won’t be able to get a look at them until fall camp opens up in August, but it’s always good to get the opinions of older players when it comes to Alabama’s new freshmen.
Two Alabama veterans, tight end O.J. Howard and safety Eddie Jackson, were asked for their thoughts on the newcomers during their interview sessions at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
Howard pointed to a young defensive lineman when asked who is impressing him.
“Raekwon Davis on defense,” Howard said. “He’s doing a great job with his size and athleticism. He’s been standing out to me.”
Davis, a four-star recruit out of Mississippi, is a 6-foot-7, 315-pound behemoth along the defensive line. Davis has an opportunity to play early and Alabama is looking for depth with guys like Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson and others no longer with the program.
He recorded 55 tackles, including 12.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries during his senior season at Meridian High School.
Jackson, one of the leaders of the Crimson Tide’s secondary, touched on two new members of Alabama’s defensive backfield. Jackson said Shyheim Carter and Aaron Robinson have impressed him this summer.
Carter, a 4-star cornerback from Louisiana, received praise from recruiting analysts as one of the more versatile and athletic defensive backs in the 2016 recruiting cycle.
As a senior at Kentwood (La.) High School, Carter recorded 57 tackles and five interceptions. He also threw for 2,443 yards while rushing for 1,648 yards and scoring 30 total touchdowns.
Robinson was an underrated member of Alabama’s class, but may end up being one of the steals. He injured his shoulder and missed his junior season, but arrived at Alabama as a physical, hard hitting cornerback with great cover skills. Robinson totaled 41 tackles and four interceptions as a senior at Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School.
“They can take the coaching. They come in and compete,” Jackson said. “They play fast. They make a mistake, you can go tell them about it and coach them up. They do it right the next time.”
But the one player both Howard and Jackson mentioned was wide receiver Trevon Diggs. Diggs, a 4-star signee from Maryland, is a natural athlete who played both defensive back and wide receiver in high school.
“He has good speed, good hands and runs good routes,” Howard said.
Added Jackson, “He’s really doing a good job. He’s really learning and taking the coaching. He takes the weight room and things like that serious.”
While he’s not a freshman, Bowling Green transfer Gehrig Dieter is already turning heads. Dieter caught 94 passes for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at Bowling Green.
He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Alabama’s receiver group.
“I think he’s a great receiver,” Howard said. “Great hands, he has those. He rarely drops the ball. (Runs) great routes. He’s smart. You can tell he’s a veteran guy. I’m looking forward to him being in our offense this year.
“He’s a guy that came in late, and might not know the playbook as well as other people do, but he looks like he’s been there for a couple of seasons by the way he goes out there and plays fast. That’s a good sign.”