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Freshman LB Dallas Turner is ‘bought into Alabama’s defense,’ per DJ Dale

Dallas Turner (#15) in his stance at linebacker for Alabama versus LSU for 2021
Photo by University of Alabama Athletics

The recent signing class for Alabama football made a statement across all recruiting metrics.

After 27 athletes — including eight 5-stars — signed their national letters of intent, the national reporters said Coach Nick Saban signed his greatest class ever. Many of these players have not gotten a chance to shine as freshmen, but one refuses to end this season without having an impact. Dallas Turner, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a rising star on defense at linebacker.

RELATED: Alabama players say freshman CB Kool-Aid McKinstry brings ‘killer mentality’ to team

The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder created waves in preseason camp.

He worked behind Christopher Allen, Will Anderson Jr., and Drew Sanders at the position.

He studied Anderson and Sanders after Allen suffered a foot injury, and emerged when Sanders sustained a hand injury against Ole Miss. Turner had to feel his way versus Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Tennessee, but things clicked for the talented pass rusher against the LSU Tigers.

Saban said the freshman was outstanding in affecting LSU’s Max Johnson at quarterback.

Turner sacked Johnson twice and recorded two tackles for loss. He turned in five total tackles, earning his first award from the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff. Turner was one of seven athletes selected for Player of the Week in his second career start. During fall practice, he attacked a position drill with violence and got Sal Sunseri’s attention.

The veteran coach responded with “good violence. I like that.”

Since then, the five-star has waited for a chance to show what he can do. After his performance last week, Anderson said he was proud of Turner during interviews with reporters.

The freshman is inspired by what the sophomore has done at Alabama.

RELATED: Alabama players endorse Will Anderson as a Heisman Trophy candidate

“Every day he comes to practice and works hard,” Anderson said of Turner. “He watches film all the time. He wants to learn, and football is the most important thing to him. I am so proud of him. He’s stepping up and taking a big role when we have people down. He loves football, and he’s hungry.”

DJ Dale, a junior at defensive tackle, added to Anderson’s words. He said Turner sees Anderson as a ‘role model.’

“Dallas is doing well,” Dale said Tuesday. “He’s bought into the system. He is surrounded by a group of guys that are teaching him well, and he’s listening. He is a hard worker. The sky is the limit for Dallas.”

In nine games, Turner has 16 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, and a quarterback hurry.

Alabama fans want more violence from Turner in Saturday’s game versus New Mexico State.

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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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