Scouting Report As we all are well aware, D.J. Pettway originally came to Alabama in 2012, but was kicked off of the team in January of 2013 after he took part in a robbery on campus along with other Tide players. Pettway transferred to East Mississippi Community College and according to his coaches matured on the field and off as well.
Pettway helped lead East Mississippi Community College to the JUCO National Championship, recording 11.5 sacks on the season and earned his way back onto the Alabama football team with three years of eligibility left.
BigEasyTider's Take Arguably the hardest evaluation in the entire class here. Downside? Obvious off-field issues (was in the doghouse before his felony assault arrest/conviction), coupled with the fact that he only has two years of eligibility remaining. Also, his production in his two years at Alabama was, aside from a big play against LSU in 2012, largely unimpressive (a redshirt season mixed in with 8 tackles and a couple of sacks, both of which came in fourth quarter garbage times during blowouts).
Upside, though, at least in pure potential -- and I'll both caution and refer readers to Bum Phillips' timeless definition of that word -- he may be the most complete edge player on the team. He has bulked up significantly since leaving Tuscaloosa, adding probably 20-25 pounds, and he should no longer be a liability against the run, especially if the work ethic continues as it seemingly has in recent months. Added weight does concern you that it may negatively affect his pass rushing skills, which were his bread and butter, but he played extremely well as a pass rusher against high quality competition at the JUCO level last season even at the increased weight level.
Again, probably toughest evaluation in the class in my eyes. Potential is there, but no guarantees. Could have a monster year, could be a largely wasted scholarship in search of a short-term fix. The staff clearly hopes and thinks it will be the former -- and FWIW their evaluation should get tremendous deference -- but in ranking the class, with so many other highly-talented prospects, nearly all of which have far more collegiate eligibility remaining than Pettwy and don't have the same off-field concerns, it's hard to justify putting him much higher, even if he has the physical potential to dramatically outperform this ranking.
runtheoption22's Take Agreeing with BET, this was definitely the hardest to evaluate. I could easily have put DJ #6 or 7, if he lives up to potential. However, what we knew in the spring told us that he could be too light to play end....then had the off-the-field issues and you have a big question mark. If he lives up to potential, he could be a first round draft pick.
WMack4Bama's Take I was more disappointed in Pettway than I was any of the other 3 players that were dismissed from the team. While most only remember TJ Yeldon's screen for a TD vs. LSU in 2012, I vividly recall Pettway stalling a wildcat run off tackle on 4th & short to get us the ball back late in the 4th qtr.
We have him rated as the 18th crown jewel, but if our defensive line will indeed be going to attack mode instead of contain mode this season, Pettway will be All-SEC. As a pass rusher, he is relentless. He shows pressure from any number of spots on the defensive line that we probably haven't seen since Kindal Moorehead. Since being back on campus, he's gone out with a renewed sense of urgency, including a pick 6 in the A-Day game and he was routinely in the backfield during other practices. I look for Pettway to be an instant impact player. So good that we'll only have him for 2 of the 3 seasons that he's eligible for.