Alabama freshman cleared by NCAA
In his Wednesday press conference, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban confirmed that the freshman will not be receiving an academic redshirt. Davis is eligible to play beginning this week when Alabama hosts Western Kentucky.
“Today was the first day that we knew he would be eligible,” Saban said. “He did rep some with the defense, but he was also on the scout team.
“We’re doing everything we can to get him ready to play. I don’t know if we can get him ready to play for this game, but certainly, it’ll be a work in progress for us to try and get him ready to be able to play down the road and offer some depth on the defensive line.”
Davis had been practicing with the team for last week’s game against USC in Dallas, which the Tide won in a blowout 52-6.
“He’s been able to practice the whole time,” Saban said. “We got him a lot of reps in fall camp. Last week when we started game prep, we did not prep him with defense.”
The 6-foot-7, 315-lb. defensive lineman committed to both Alabama and Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi, in case he was ruled academically ineligible. In an interview with SEC Country, Davis said a low ACT score was the source of his uncertainty.
“That was really the only thing holding me back,” Davis said.
The No. 5 player in the state of Mississippi, the No. 11 defensive tackle and No. 84 overall player in the 2016 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports rankings, Davis was a four-star recruit. His commitment helped boost Alabama’s recruiting class to the No. 2 spot, behind only the Trojans.
Alabama’s game against the Hilltoppers begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.