The when became June 4, as the Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County defensive lineman pledged to Nick Saban and Alabama after returning home from camp in Tuscaloosa. All indication was that he put in a solid performance and it enabled the staff to get a better look as to where the three-star projects.
"They have me at d-tackle now and they talk about some end," said Dwight on the night he committed. "I can play some end, I may start this year at end for my high school.
"I'm quick, I'm 300 pounds and I think I can fit in there well."
We took a look at his film to find out just where the new Tide pledge is at in his development and more in the latest edition of BamaMagnified.
The first thing that jumps out on film is his anticipatory skills. This translates to many things, but most importantly, it usually helps to yield a good get-off when the ball is snapped, enabling Dwight's first step to be a big strength. He simultaneously plays the ball and the quarterback's cadence en route to sharp jumps on the snap-count. It helps him have the early advantage on the opposition more times than not.
Secondly, Dwight can diagnose plays much better than most at his age and position. He uses his length to separate from linemen while checking out what is going on in the backfield, making him a threat against running plays. Against the pass, he shows several above-average moves en route to the QB, including a quick swim technique as well as a spin-move that works out even better.
When Dwight gets to the point of attack, he is always under control. He's not looking to dart in the backfield and simply cause a stir. He settles, almost like a linebacker, before following through and making a form tackle. His technique of settling before making the play preaches good patience, which enables him to react more effectively to counters, screens and other mis-direction plays.
Dwight also does two things well that aren't very coachable. He can command a double-team like any good defensive tackle, but he can envelope it as well without giving up ground. That skill will be especially beneficial in a 3-4 look like Alabama's considering how important occupying blockers is. The other, and even more crucial at times, is hustle. While understanding pursuit angles is another strength, the fact that Dwight actually gets down the field and makes moves toward the ball no matter where it is can be invaluable.
STILL NEEDS WORK
Some of Dwight's positives actually lead to certain negatives at this stage of his development.
Every prospect needs to add strength leading up to college, and the three-star is in the same boat. It doesn't quite show in his getting through and/or around offensive linemen, but it does show in his explosion. He doesn't quite jump off the screen when he recognizes a ball-carrier, though he's effective more times than not. What doesn't help this is how fundamental he is upon contact, settling and wrapping-up like a second or even third-level defender. With Dwight not finishing with power on tackles, he seemingly lacks some explosion.
Along the same lines, his hustle and pursuit lend him to being around the ball plenty with his elite play-recognition and diagnostics. While his lateral mobility is good, he doesn't show speed in between breaking a play down and finishing at the point of attack. Most big guys aren't very fast, but Dwight doesn't accelerate well in short spaces despite his effectiveness.
The final area Dwight needs to work on is his pad-level. It's another area in which many linemen need work after high school, but it's especially true on the defensive side of the ball where force and leverage is everything. The No. 29 defensive tackle nationally has his way with the opposition for now despite standing tall, but that won't fly at the college level no matter the conference.
The early scouting report for Dwight compares to that of 2013 Alabama signee Dee Liner in that he is versatile along the line and may actually be best suited to play the five-technique, or defensive end, in the 3-4 scheme.
Dwight is top-notch on the edge and at occupying blockers to the point that his ceiling there is too high to think about him as a defensive tackle currently, especially with a commitment from O.J. Smith in the same class.
Once he puts on some good weight, works on his grades and adds strength - there's no reason why Dwight shouldn't be a productive player in Tuscaloosa for years to come. He won't wow many with stats and big plays, but his consistent nature and apparent desire to get to the ball at all costs will make him an above-average college player, even in the SEC.