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Alabama Football Impact Players

Alabama freshmen Evan Neal, DJ Dale winning over teammates

Evan Neal blocking at Alabama
Kent Gidley - Crimson Tide athletics

Two true freshmen project as starters for Alabama. 

As a January enrollee in the 2019 recruiting class, Evan Neal immediately impressed fans with his massive size at 6-foot-7 and 360 pounds. A native Floridian, he earned a five-star rating and a diamond grade of two – meaning “all-conference player and top-25 NFL pick projection” — from Touchdown Alabama Magazine.

Head coach Nick Saban raved about Neal throughout spring practice and he has worked at both offensive guard positions thus far in fall camp. 

RELATED: WATCH: RT Jedrick Wills Jr. speaks ahead of Alabama’s practice

In both preseason scrimmages, he was seen with the first-team unit. 

Jedrick Wills, the Crimson Tide’s returning starter at right tackle, had his media viewing period inside the Mal Moore Facility on Monday.

Upon discussing young players that stand out to him, the former four-star from Kentucky wasted no time bringing Neal into the conversation. 

“Evan Neal has been working with us pretty well,” Wills said of the freshman. 

“He’s still learning, but he has been doing really well.” 

When it comes to playing different roles along the offensive line, Wills said he does not see a weakness in Neal’s game.  

“He’s a big guy, but from when he first went in he made it look really smooth,” Wills said of Neal transitioning from tackle to guard. “He’s a big, physical player. He is a smart guy that has all the intangibles.” 

As for DJ Dale, the alumnus of Clay-Chalkville High School (Pinson, Ala.) was a four-star via Touchdown Alabama Magazine upon enrolling in January.  

Dale, like Neal, impressed with his size, quickness and work ethic.

He was a standout through spring practice and is projected to start at nose tackle. While he looks to return to full action at fall camp (knee), Wills said Dale is a “quick-twitched player” and a “good pass rusher.” 

Alabama is expecting strong production from both lines, and the duo of Neal and Dale will provide massive roles in getting it done.  

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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