Alabama freshman Caleb Downs has been named the SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press.

The freshman safety has racked up a team-leading 99 tackles, 34 more than the next-highest total. Downs has also recorded 3.5 TFLs and two interceptions while tacking on a punt return touchdown against Chatanooga.

The Hoschton, Ga., native has been a cornerstone to the Tide defense. Making plays in coverage against the SEC's best playmakers while also being willing to do the dirty work and provide elite-run support.

Saban has been keen to sing his praises for the freshman this season, stating, "Caleb has played very well for us. He's really mature. ... he's got great football instincts and savvy." during an early October press conference.

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The Mill Creek High School alumnus was expected to be an impact player during his first collegiate season, with Saban even saying, "Caleb's done a really good job. He's very instinctive. He's very mature — beyond his years. I know he wants to play well and we want to help him play well." before the season. But Downs far exceeded nearly everyone's expectations.

Every Tide fan is excited to see Downs flying around the field in the Crimson and White for the next two years before he hears his name in the 2026 NFL draft.

For more Alabama Football content from Simon Besnoy, follow him on X/Twitter at @SimonBesnoy and stay tuned to for daily news.

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Gallery Credit: Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics

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Gallery Credit: Crimson Tide Photos/ UA Athletics

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