Learning His Role

Scout.com four-star tight end Preston Dial was in Tuscaloosa for his official visit as a Tide verbal commitment. The 6-4, 240-pound Class 4A Lineman of the Year is anxious to begin his career at the Capstone.

"Coach Shula wants all of the commitments in Tuscaloosa in July," said Preston Dial from UMS-Wright in Mobile. "The second summer session begins July 14. I will probably move to Tuscaloosa July 13."

"I have already been informed I will room with David Ross. Coach [Randy] Ross saw where both of us hit it off pretty good, and we became good friends. There is suppose to be four people living in our suite. I guess we will find out later who our other two roommates will be," he added.

Dial spent time with coach Mike Shula learning of his future role and the aspects of his game he needs to improve.

Dial said, "Coach [Buddy] Wyatt came up to me after lunch on Sunday and said coach Shula wanted to speak to me. Coach Shula said he thinks my main focus should be working on my footwork and catching the ball. He wants me to work on my strength so I won't get killed by all the bigger guys next year."

"Coach Shula said I have a good chance to be a great receiving tight end. There is a lot of competition at tight end right now. I know I will have to work hard to earn a spot because the guys there now aren't going to give up their spot. I will have to keep working hard and improving each week. Hopefully I can earn my role," Dial added.

"It was really good," Dial said of his official visit with the Tide. "I had a lot of fun. We toured the facilities, learned about the academics and hung out with the players. We met the new strength coach. It was really good to hang out with all the other commitments again. It was an overall great weekend."

Travis Sikes was Dial's player host for the weekend.

"Travis was a really nice guy," Dial said. "We had a lot of fun together, but we were not isolated. I hung out with him, Zach [Schreiber], Cody [Davis], Justin Britt and a few other guys. They were all really cool."

"I hung out with a lot of the recruits as well. I hung out with Greg McElroy, Andy Davis, Charlie Higgenbotham, Charlie Kirschman, David Ross, Taylor Pharr, Jake Jones and Lee Tiffin. Greg McElroy and I really bonded well. I could see us being good friends. I know he has some tough decisions to make. Hopefully, he will make the right decision and come to Alabama."

When asked his favorite part of the official visit Dial replied, "My favorite part of the visit was going to the stadium. We got to put on jerseys with '06 as the number for signing class of '06. We took a big group picture. We went on the field and watched the highlight video. It was really cool."

Dial missed half of Alabama's bowl game, but was impressed with the way the Tide's performance in Dallas.

"I was playing in an All-American football game in Shreveport that week," he said. "I thought the defense played really well. The offense made some big plays. The defense played great all year long. They went out there and made a lot of great plays. It was great to see us get the win."

"The All-American game I played in was a lot of fun. They basically used me as a fullback most of the time. I did a lot of pass blocking, and I learned a lot about the speed of the game. There were a lot of great players in the game. It's something that will help me get used to college. I was very impressed with Mike McCoy [Alabama verbal commit], Almondo Sewell and Martez Smith. Those were the three guys who stood out the most," Dial added.

Dial will return to Tuscaloosa for the Tide's A-Day game.


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