Ask a successful person about how’ve they’ve reached where they are in their professional life, and most will tell you about the times they failed.
It’s a hard word to label someone with or even with which to describe their performance. It’s harsh, almost mean spirited. But in reality, those who haven’t failed, haven’t tried.
Trevon Diggs learned a lot last season when he started the first game of the season only to be replaced in the first half by Levi Wallace. He used that experience as a learning tool. Now he’s ready to put what he’s learned into practice.
“I feel more comfortable in the defense now that I played last season,” Diggs said. “I know a lot more after following the older guys. It was beneficial and that helped me a lot. I’m looking forward to next season.”
Diggs is one of a number of new players who will be counted on in the secondary this season after the Crimson Tide lost six secondary members off the 2017 team. Essentially the entire dime defense is gone. Diggs is competing for one of the starting cornerback positions.
UA coach Nick Saban said it’s been a spring of growth for the converted wide receiver.
“I think he’s a lot more confident this year in terms of understanding what he’s supposed to do,” Saban said. “I think as long as he stays focused and doesn’t, like, start just staring at the quarterback and not doing what he’s supposed to do… which, a lot of these guys make a lot of plays with their eyes in high school. But when you’re playing man-to-man, you have to look at your man. You can’t cover your guy if you don’t look at him. So that’s not the time to be making plays with your eyes.
“So we continue to try to train our guys as to when you can make plays with your eyes and when you have to focus on the things you need to focus on to be able to do your job in that particular coverage or defense or pressure or whatever it is. That he’s gotten a lot better at. But every now and then, he’ll sort of revert back. As long as he stays focused on that, I’m very confident that he can be a very, very good player for us. I’m really kind of encouraged by the progress that he’s made.”
Diggs acknowledges that’s a bad habit he’s trying to break.
“I try not to look at the quarterback at all,” Diggs said. “Coach always say if you look at the quarterback, you’re just going to watch him complete the pass. I try not to have my eyes looking in the backfield.
“Last season, I had to fight that a lot. Transferring over to cornerback helped me a lot. I kind of got over it so I don’t need to look at the cornerback anymore.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.