The Second Year Leap by Dallas Turner Will be Frightening
Will Anderson garners most of the attention for the Alabama defense, but he isn’t the only dominating force coming off the edge for the Crimson Tide. Sophomore Dallas Turner is paired with Anderson to form college football’s most fearsome pass-rushing duo.
Anderson raved about his uber-talented counterpart at SEC Media Days this week.
“It feels amazing,” Anderson said. “You don’t have to have everybody worried about you. You have a player equally just as good as you on the other side that can wreak havoc as well. It’s so exciting … he’s gonna be a big piece of our defense this year.”
“Dallas has always been a really good player. I remember, like, watching him in practice and everything like that. He’s always been the factor. He’s gonna be really good for us this year. He’s gonna be a big piece of our defense this year and I’m excited to watch him play.”
Tuner, a five-star product out of St. Thomas Aquinas (Florida) High School, ranked as the No. 9 prospect nationally and No. 1 weakside defensive end in the 2021 247Sports Composite.
He worked primarily on special teams and as a reserve on defense through the first five games of his freshman season. Turner was thrusted into the starting lineup in week six against Texas A&M because of injuries to Christopher Allen and Drew Sanders. He continued to get better every week and gave the Crimson Tide another devastating pass rusher to compliment Anderson for the rest of the 2021 season.
His breakout performance came on Nov. 6 in a game against LSU. Turner registered five tackles and the first two sacks of his collegiate career, including a crucial one on the Tigers final possession of regulation. From there on out, Turner was off and rolling.
The Florida native was a standout in the Iron Bowl. He provided constant pressure, totaling three tackles and 1.5 sacks. Turner came up with a critical sack the following week on third down in the SEC Championship game that forced Georgia to settle for a field goal. He registered one sack in the Tide’s college football semifinal matchup and then two more in the national championship.
He finished the season with 30 tackles, including 10 for loss and 8.5 sacks, which earned him Freshman All-American honors. In fact, all 8.5 of his sacks came in Alabama’s final seven contests.
“I think they have the two best linebackers in college football,” said 247Sports Josh Pate in June. “They got Will Anderson and they got Dallas Turner. I know everyone agrees on Anderson, I think by seasons end you’re going to look at 15 there and think he’s right there with Will Anderson. They are two phenomenal players.”
The Alabama pass rusher has a full season under his belt of going against SEC competition and playing on the sport's biggest stages. Another year in the Crimson Tide weight and film room will go a long way for his development.
Turner is an elite athlete coming off the edge. He has incredible speed and bend that make him difficult to block. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker also has ability to overpower tackles and like Anderson, plays with a relentless effort. Sky is the limit for what Turner can accomplish during his time in Tuscaloosa.