Quinton Dial Survives, Thrives In Bay Area

Santa Clara, Calif - Self-proclaimed country boy at heart, Quinton Dial, was a fifth round selection of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft, 157th overall. The Bay Area metropolis was initially overwhelming for the Birmingham born and Pinson-raised veteran entering year three of his career. Off-season roster moves created a starting opportunity for the 6-5, 318 pound defensive lineman.

Even though country music artist Hank Williams, Jr. wrote and recorded the song, “A Country Boy Can Survive,” eight years prior to the July 21, 1990, birth of Quinton Arnaz Dial, the title is applicable to describe the NFL career thus far of the rugged defender.

San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Tomsula was the defensive line coach before taking over the helm in 2015. Quinton Dial was under his tutelage for two years. Tomsula said, “He’s been on an upward track the entire time he has been here. He is making Alabama proud. He is doing really well this year. Our plans for him this year are he is competing and you’ll see him play a lot of football.”

Recently Tomsula said of Dial, “He’s an incredible person, incredible father, husband, friend. Great in in the locker room and he is incredibly scary when it comes to putting a helmet on. So he’s that guy we want. He’s the true definition of a switch.”

A rookie reserve for three games in 2013, he amassed 30 tackles, nine solo with a pair of sacks as a six-game starter out of 14 last year.

The former University of Alabama two-year letter winner registered a half sack, one assist, and a quarterback hurry in the 23-6 victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. “I feel like I played solid. I was not in the game for too many plays but from the reps that I had I feel I played well.”

BamaMag.com visited with Dial and with rookie wide receiver DeAndrew White on Friday after practice and on Sunday for post-game interviews.

Preseason practices are a critically important time to impress the organization. Dial concedes the audition is a continual process. “I feel like I’ve been productive throughout training camp. I am just trying to come in and show the coaching staff and my teammates that I can be an asset to this team and show up every day and work hard.”

Rookie DeAndrew White is in contention for a roster spot. The undrafted 6-0, 192 pound free agent is being utilized as a wide receiver on offense, punt and kick-off returner as well as a gunner on the punt coverage team. White said, “I am just doing what I can to help the team out anyway I can. I just want to play my role.”

He showed speed and elusiveness on a second quarter 21-yard punt return fielded at the 16-yard line. A holding penalty assessed at the end of the run moved the ball back to the 27-yard line but the play was duly noted by not only the San Francisco coaching staff but 10 NFL and four CFL scouts in attendance. White replied, “I’m getting more and more confident back there. The punt return I had, too bad it got called back but I put good film on tape so I feel next time it won’t get called back and I will have a touchdown.” He had a 16-yard kick-off return on Sunday.

White received praise from the coaching staff, teammates, and media members despite just having one reception for three yards and two kick-off returns for 39 yards with the longest being 20 in the first exhibition game. San Francisco teammate and former LSU safety Eric Reid touted his exploits on Friday prior to the second exhibition game stating, “He has been shining ever since he’s gotten here making a lot of plays. He has great hands, great speed and great quickness. Like I said, another weapon for Colin (Kaepernick) to utilize. We’ve got to get the ball in his hands and let him do his thing.”

Dial said, “He’s definitely developed, learned to be a pro. I’m trying to teach him how to take care of his body because it’s a long season. I’m trying to take him under my wing. He’s an awesome playmaker.”

Newcomers are constantly scrutinized. Tomsula said at the pregame Friday press conference, “He’s got to keep ascending. When the lights go on in these preseason games he needs to produce and be consistent. He is working his tail off. He obviously has a lot of ability.”

White wishes to build upon the positive performance. “I feel I’ve been pretty good and consistent throughout camp. I just haven’t had the chances in the game but it’s not my say to when the chances are so when I get it I take the best opportunity. I was not thrown any passes my way today but that’s how the game goes sometimes especially when you’re not getting that many series. That’s not anything to worry about. I got open. It’s on tape and that’s all I can do.”

The Houston native coincidentally played his first two NFL exhibition games against the Texas teams – Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys. “I didn’t even think about it like that. They were just another team in our way, another team for me to face. Yes, the two Texas teams. That was pretty cool. All my family, friends and fans got to watch it. They watch every game. I just try to go out there and make them proud.” Two more exhibition games remain for the talented rookie to secure a role with the NFC West Division team.

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