Why Nick Saban moved NFL interception leader Trevon Diggs to defensive back at Alabama

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs has become one of the NFL's best, and it likely wouldn't have been possible if not for Alabama football coach Nick Saban

Saban suggested to Diggs during his time at Alabama that he make the switch from receiver to cornerback, and this past week Diggs said that made him cry. 

"I was hurt at first, honestly," Diggs said after the win over the Giants on Sunday. 

But he went to work, and it's worked out pretty well for him in his second NFL season. He leads the league with six interceptions through five weeks. The decision was tough in the moment, but hindsight gives Diggs a different perspective. 

"And I thank Saban for that," Diggs said. "Appreciate you." 

Saban was asked about the decision to move Diggs to defensive back during the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday. 

"First off, he was a really good receiver," Saban said. "A lot of times, guys have a vision of what they'd like to be. But because of his skill set, he had great ball skills, really good hands, long, very athletic, I just thought the guy would be a really good corner and there would be more value for his future if he was a corner." 

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Saban said he didn't make Diggs switch positions. He suggested it, but it was Diggs' final decision. Saban just made the message clear: He felt Diggs had a better future at defensive back. 

And he was right.

Earlier this season, Saban joined the Peyton and Eli Manning telecast on ESPN for the Cowboys-Eagles Monday Night Football game. Right before Saban joined the show, Diggs grabbed an interception for a pick-six. 

"It certainly has worked out really well for him," Saban said, "and I'm really proud of the way he's playing."