How Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs’ mom challenged Nick Saban after position change at Alabama

FRISCO, Texas — Nick Saban didn’t answer her call.

So Stephanie Diggs left a message.

“I didn’t think he was going to call me back,” she told USA TODAY Sports. “But it was so funny. He called me back and I chickened out and let it go to voicemail.”

The year was 2017. Stephanie’s son Trevon was a sophomore on Alabama’s football roster. He expected further opportunities at receiver after his freshman campaign included 11 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. But Saban, Alabama’s legendary coach who had already won five of his now seven national titles, had other plans. Saban designated Trevon a full-time cornerback.

Trevon cried as he called his brother Stefon, an NFL receiver. Trevon called his mother, who heard the energy drained from his voice. She decided to advocate for her son.

Until Saban entertained the offer, that is, and Stephanie was too nervous to pick up the phone.

They ultimately spoke at a game.

“I said, ‘You’re switching Trevon’s positions, what are you thinking?’” Stephanie remembered. “I didn’t want him to not hone in on one position, to be all over the place and (unable to) concentrate on being a cornerback or wide receiver.”

Mother asked coach: “Do you think he can do it?”

“Yes,” she says Saban replied. “Trevon can do it. He will be a great corner.”

Five seasons later, NFL record books agree.

After a rookie year featuring three interceptions and 14 pass deflections, Trevon leads all NFL players with 11 interceptions and ranks second with 21 pass deflections. He has more interceptions than the league has seen from a player in a single season in nearly 40 years. With one game to play, he has matched Cowboys Hall of Fame Everson Walls’ 1981 franchise-record collection of 11. Dick “Night Train” Lane’s 14-interception season has remained the high since 1952.

“I just want to create as much plays as I can to help my team win,” Trevon said. “If the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to take full…

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