Despite a tough ending to the 2016 season, former Alabama wide receiver Gehrig Dieter starts his transition to being a pro athlete with a bang. On Friday, he inked a deal with Everett Sports Marketing: a company focused solely on marketing professional athletes. Dieter joins AJ McCarron, Jonathan Allen, ArDarius Stewart, Blake Sims and T.J. Yeldon as the sixth University of Alabama player to sign with the brand.
He served at receiver, coverage team (kick and punt) and return specialist, en route to aiding the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and its third appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Though he did not receive many opportunities to showcase his talents as a wide out, Dieter concluded the year with four touchdown receptions and 214 yards on 15 catches through 15 games.
In talking with him and his family, both are excited to be with Everett.
“Just getting a chance to make a difference off the field is cool,” Dieter said.
In his arrival to Alabama, Dieter said all he really wanted was to be a part of a special team.
“I wanted to win a national championship,” he said. “Unfortunately it did not happen, but I will never trade the friends I’ve met here at Alabama. Some of my best moments were being with teammates.”
With the numbers he turned in at Bowling Green, some media pundits would consider Dieter’s choice of Alabama a downgrade. On the contrary, his presence as a blocker provided one of the team’s unsung stories.
He assisted the Tide in producing five 500-plus yard rushers–Damien Harris, Jalen Hurts, Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs— including a 1,000-yard season from Harris (1,037, two rushing touchdowns).
“Dieter played well all year,” former Alabama tight end Michael Nysewander said.
“He saved us much field position on special teams and has good hands at receiver. I was very impressed with his blocking against Washington, especially on Bo Scarbrough’s long touchdown run.”
Nysewander, who earned the nickname “Highway 46” during his time at Alabama (2011-15), recalls a famous saying that the coaching staff uses in recognizing great players.
“It’s how you act when the ball is not in your hands that determines your character,” Nysewander said. “All season long, there were moments when Dieter would either secure the edge for a touchdown or do something to help Alabama win. He was a great team player.”
Dieter was not invited to the Senior Bowl and isn’t on the radar for the NFL Scouting Combine; however, he will participate in the 2017 East-West Shrine Game next Saturday at St. Petersburg, Fla.