Three years ago, D.J. Pettway was kicked off the Alabama football team. Now, he’s a member of the New Orleans Saints organization.
The defensive lineman announced his agreement Saturday evening, while one of Pettway’s Crimson Tide teammates, Dillon Lee, also tweeted that he will be headed to New Orleans.
Pettway was an important cog in perhaps the nation’s best front seven last year. He made 18 total tackles and collected 2.0 sacks as a senior, while also blocking a Florida field-goal attempt in the SEC championship game.
While he never achieved star status in Tuscaloosa, Pettway caught the attention of NFL personnel with his play.
NFL.com’s scouting report notes the 6-foot-2, 270-pound lineman is “able to convert speed to power and crank up a bull rush with a leveraged, jarring punch,” and “plays with good awareness.”
Pettway was booted off the Crimson Tide in 2013 after being charged with second-degree robbery, but returned in 2014 after playing one season for East Mississippi Community College.
“Some people won’t stand up for him,” coach Nick Saban said after Pettway was welcomed back (via AL.com’s Drew Champlin). “My question to you is, ‘Where do you want him to be?’ You want to condemn him to a life sentence? Or do you want the guy to have his children going to Princeton?”
John Hendrix was first to tweet Pettway’s news on Saturday evening.