"He leads by example."
Scout.com Rating: Three-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 27 Defensive Tackle
Size: 6-foot-2, 295-pounds
High School: Lindale, Ga. (Pepperell)
Projected Position: Defensive Tackle
Stats: Ball finished his senior season with 60 tackles, 25 assists, seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 38 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumbles recoveries (one returned for a touchdown), two pass deflections, and one receiving touchdown as a tight end.
Accolades: Ball was named Rome News-Tribune All-Area Football Co-Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team Defensive Line, AA AJC Ga All-State Team, Defensive Line, AP AA Ga All-State Team, Defensive Line, played in Under Armour All-American Game, Defensive Line and received Pepperell High's Commitment to Excellence Award for overall commitment to the program.
Commit Date: 10/14/2010
Recruiting Competition: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Clemson, South Carolina, Stanford
Why Alabama: "It's exciting to know I am gong there. There is also a lot of pressure to go there and do great. Alabama's interest in me really showed a ton of interest in me. I felt like they wanted me more. You are going to be loved when you play for Alabama. The game day atmosphere is crazy even if they aren't playing a team who is really good. It was a pretty easy decision for me. They offered me first, and they have been on top ever since.
"I told coach Saban there are no negatives about Alabama...Alabama is close to my family. They can come watch me play. I like all of their coaches. I think coach Saban is the best coach in football. He is going to be there when I am there. I felt like it was the right place and where I belong."
Strength/Improvements: "I don't let anyone beat me. I guess it's my will to not let anyone beat me. They recruited me to play on the defensive line. I come off the ball hard. I don't let people just push me back. I don't let anyone manhandle me. I don't let that happen. I would to improve on my speed. I run a 5.1 40 [yard dash]. I could get that up. I want to get stronger and stronger."
Coach Quotes: "He's just a good player all-around," Pepperell head coach Jeff Shiflett told Scout.com. "We used Dakota inside and out on the line. He'll do whatever we ask of him. He's big, strong, moves extremely well for 290.
"The best part of his game is his ability to maneuver himself and get good leverage on his opponent. He also plays the game with a very high motor.
"Alabama was the first to offer him. I think he felt comfortable there after visiting. He knew that's where he wanted to go and decided to go ahead and make it. Dakota's a good person, solid student, and plays hard. He's driven, with a strong work ethic. What success he's had he's earned it on his own...He leads by example."
Andrew Bone says: "Dakota Ball is an aggressive defensive player who can play on either side of the ball. The coaching staff has yet to decide if he will remain on the defensive front or move to the interior on the offensive line. He played on both sides of the ball in high school. He is quick off the ball on the defensive front. He does a great job using his hands and sliding by blockers. He plays with a high motor and never gives up on a play."
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