Alabama has produced some incredible defensive linemen over the years, with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Quinnen Williams being some of the most-recent stars.

This year, the Tide need some guys to step up to replace Williams on the interior of the defensive line. And, surprisingly, they could turn to a freshman to pick up the slack.

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On Tuesday, senior DL Raekwon Davis compared freshman DJ Dale to Payne, per AL.com:

“He plays like Daron Payne,” Davis said of Dale on Tuesday. “He plays just like Daron Payne.”

Nick Saban has sung Dale’s praises this spring, too, saying the early enrollee has been working with the first team.

Dale was a 4-star recruit in the 2019 class and went to high school at Clay-Chalkville in Pinson, Alabama.