Alabama connection sets up ex-San Francisco 49er Quinton Dial with Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, top, tackles Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron during their game on Jan. 1 in Detroit. The Alabama connection is still strong in Green Bay with newly signed defensive lineman Quinton Dial joining Clinton-Dix as Packers who played with the Crimson Tide. (AP photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Quinton Dial had been cut from the San Francisco 49ers when he received a text from an old college teammate from Alabama.

Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had figured out that Green Bay was interested in bringing Dial in for a visit. The scheme that the Packers run was similar to what Dial and Clinton-Dix played in with the Crimson Tide, and what the 49ers used to run before switching to a 4-3 system this year.

Dial was not happy about the change in schemes.

“I’m just being honest with you. It’s the business. It was (49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s) decision and that’s what we wanted and that’s what he went with.”

Add to it that the Packers are one of the favorites in the NFC to get to the Super Bowl, and signing in Green Bay seemed like an ideal fit.

Clinton-Dix smiled Thursday after practice when he looked across the locker room and saw a friend wearing the same uniform again.

“We came in together at Alabama. He’s been a guy that I’ve always looked up to,” Clinton-Dix said about his new teammate. “He’ll fit in fine. It’s the same system we ran back in college (and) he’s really familiar with it.”

The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Dial appeared in 46 games with 32 starts for the 49ers, with 175 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. He’ll be asked to provide veteran depth up front.