June 21, 2010

Tide camp draws 2012 star

The Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff have already laid a solid foundation for what could be a great 2012 recruiting class by making an early impression on some of the nation's top rising juniors. Lindale (GA) Pepperell defensive tackle Dakota Ball was among the most highly-touted recruits at the Tide's recent OL/DL camp after making an appearance earlier this month in Knoxville for Tennessee's camp.

"I went to Tennessee for their camp earlier this month. It was a really good time," Ball said. "We worked on a lot of different drills to help us with technique and basic skills, things like that. I got to work with Coach (Chuck) Smith a lot and he was really great. Coach Smith knows what he's talking about because he was one of the best pass rushers in football for a long time. He's a great guy to learn from."

"Last weekend I went to Alabama's O-line/D-line camp. It was a little more focused on one-on-one competition rather than just doing drills so it was a different and really cool experience. I also got a chance to talk one on one with Coach Saban. We talked about how I might fit into the program and also just about general things like how he runs his program and what he's trying to do as far as help develop you not just as a player but as a person of strong character."

Part of Ball's value as a prospect is his versatility with the ability and experience to play at several different positions.

"Alabama had told me that I could really play anywhere on the defensive line, inside or out, and that I could even possibly contribute at tight end if the opportunity was there. It's good to have different options to help me have a better chance to get on the field."

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle plans to take things easy for the rest of the summer on the recruiting circuit before picking back up in the fall.

"I will visit Alabama and Tennessee again for games this fall but that's going to be it for me for the summer. I want to focus on getting in shape so I can play every snap of every game, both sides of the ball. It's something I'm really looking forward to being able to do but I have to work hard to get myself into shape first."

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