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Stephen's Report

Gehrig Dieter’s father weighs in on his son’s journey to Alabama

Rick Osentoski - USA TODAY Sports

It was a huge weekend for the athletics department at the University of Alabama, as softball took center stage and men’s basketball earned its first win over Florida.

Bowling Green wide receiver Gehrig Dieter has been hounded by reporters all week.

Dieter, who will be the latest addition to Alabama’s roster this summer, is making a transition from the Falcons upon earning his degree in May. He compiled a 26-15 record in three seasons with the team, winning a Mid-American Conference East Division title (2013) and a MAC Conference championship last season.

https://twitter.com/gehrigd4/status/698877413023993857

He recorded 1,033 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 94 catches in 2015, becoming one of only three wide outs to achieve this feat. Competition will be fierce in Tuscaloosa, yet Dieter is excited to meet his new environment. Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will have another weapon to use as Dieter joins Calvin Ridley as the Tide’s second 1,000-yard target going into next season.

Derek Dieter, Gehrig’s father, coached him from Pop Warner League through elementary school.

“I am very proud of him,” Dieter said. “He has worked extremely hard for this moment.”

Dieter compacts a lot of big play abilities in his 6-foot-3, 207-pound frame. He comes to Alabama with 139 career receptions for 1,661 yards and 12 touchdowns. His instincts and knowledge of defenses make him a threat in the slot; however, his hands and acceleration off the line of scrimmage have him poised as a vertical assassin.

Many of Dieter’s grabs at Bowling Green drew comparisons to New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Despite not coaching him in high school, Derek did not shy away from analyzing his son’s game. He compared Gehrig to a certain Green Bay Packers talent.

“He is a clone of Jordy Nelson,” Dieter said. “He is very fast, has great hands and is a good route runner.”

Nelson, like Dieter, is 6-foot-3. Prior to being successful in the National Football League, Nelson was an underrated receiver at Kansas State. He played under coach Bill Synder from 2003-05 and coach Ron Prince from 2006-07. Nelson’s breakout season came in 2007, totaling 122 catches for 1,606 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He earned All-American honors and was Biletnikoff Award finalist.

Catching passes, winning conference championships and getting a quality education are all important. Dieter has accomplished all three aspects and wants to pursue a master’s degree at Alabama. Yet and still, the one thing Alabama is known for is something he wants to win, a national championship. Former Oregon State receiver Richard Mullaney was in the same situation. He transfers to Tuscaloosa last year and was crucial part in the Tide’s championship run. Dieter and Mullaney are roughly the same size, but Dieter possess a little more firepower.

“He [Gehrig] has followed Coach Saban and this program,” Dieter said. “He is ready to go and play for the No. 1 team. Next season will be very exciting.”

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future

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