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Alabama freshman LB Ben Davis set to contribute at new position

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After redshirting his freshman season a year ago, linebacker Ben Davis is expected to be a major contributor for Alabama’s defense this spring and in the coming fall. Throughout the first week of practice, the nation’s top-rated inside linebacker was working under the eyes of co-defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi at outside ‘backer.’

Following the team’s first full-padded practice on Tuesday (fourth overall), head coach Nick Saban spoke to the media on how he and his staff are developing young players. As for Davis possibly switching to an edge rusher, Saban said he’s very pleased with the progress he has made.

“We felt like Ben Davis, athletically, might have a better chance to contribute at outside linebacker,” he said.

Davis, a native of Gordo, Ala., signed in the Crimson Tide’s top-ranked 2016 recruiting class as a five-star prospect and No. 1 rated high school player in the state of Alabama. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, he collected 105 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions during his senior year at Gordo High School in 2015.

The instinctive, young linebacker is a legacy player, falling in the steps of his father – Wayne Davis. Davis, who played at Alabama from 1983-86, still holds the school’s career mark in tackles (327). His son enters a position filled with talented guys; however, a season of observation may have prepared Ben Davis for stardom.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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