Clinton-Dix Has Good View Of Tide

It's the nature of the position that the safety can see everyone on the field. When it comes to Alabama, everyone on the offensive side of the field needs to know the location of Crimson Tide safety HaHa Clinton-Dix.

Upcoming Alabama junior safety HaHa Clinton-Dix is being named on just about every pre-season All-America team and on watch lists for individual defensive awards. He was a back-up on the 2011 Crimson Tide national championship team, but earned his way into the starting lineup last year. He led the team and tied for the Southeastern Conference lead in interceptions with five – three of them down the stretch in wins over rival Auburn, Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, and Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game. He was in on 37 tackles, forced a fumble, and broke up four passes last season.

Clinton-Dix, 6-1, 208, is from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla. He has played in all 27 Bama games in his first two seasons.

Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron sees plenty of Clinton-Dix in Alabama practices, and he said offensive players have to be aware of the Bama safety. "It's not just one guy, because our defense throws so many blitzes at us, but HaHa is definitely a playmaker back there, especially when he's in the middle of the field. He and Vinnie (fellow safety Vinnie Sunseri) both have great range. They both do a good job of ball-hawking, sitting back there, finding the ball, and when the ball is in the air, they go and get it."

Clinton-Dix returns the compliment, saying that McCarron "is one of the top quarterbacks, a great quarterback. He knows how to look you off in the middle of the field. He sells play action whether it's run or pass. Even when it's run, he sells the play action."

Alabama is in the second day of a two-day break after 19 practices in 17 days. Clinton-Dix acknowledged that players get tired in fall camp, "but we have to push through it – as a team, together. It's just a mindset. You've just got to put it in your head that it's fine. ‘I can keep going.' Just keep pushing yourself. It's just a mindset that you have to set for yourself."

Clinton-Dix gets to work against very good football players every day.

He's particularly keen on the play of upcoming sophomore wide receiver Amari Cooper, who he said has taken his game "to another level. He has not settled in or gotten comfortable at all. He continues to work hard in practice and it carries onto the field.

"He's very explosive off the line. He's quick, he can get open. He runs his routes very well. Very explosive."

Clinton-Dix doesn't admit to being frustrated by Cooper, though. "Not at all," he said. "Going against him makes me better, and if I can get better off him, then I'll be ready for anyone I see in a game."

He said, "The whole [receiving] group is excellent. All of them go out and compete hard each and every day. Whether they're tired, hurt or whatnot, they give it their all."

He said the receivers are going up against a good Bama secondary crew, too. "We're deep," he said. "The twos are just as good as the ones. They know the came really well and go out an compete every day."

He mentioned cornerbacks Bradley Sylve and Cyrus Jones and safety safety Landon Collins as having been impressive in fall camp.

There are offensive backs Clinton-Dix is glad to have on his team. He mentioned tailbacks T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry as being two great backs." But the one he most dislikes tackling is H-back Jalston Fowler, whose nickname is ‘Nudie.' "He's a big back, powerful, keeps his legs moving. He can go to running back, tight end, split out. He does a lot for us.

"They call him the ‘Nudie Bus.' He's a bus; he's a bus. He's a tough load to handle."

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