FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Former Tusculum University defensive back Dee Alford is tentatively listed to start in the secondary according to the Atlanta Falcons initial depth chart.

Alford is slated to be the starting nickel back in the Falcons preseason opener at the Miami Dolphins this Friday night at 7 p.m. from Hard Rock Stadium.

The Griffin, Georgia native is entering his second season in Atlanta following a rookie campaign where he played in 16 games and recorded 25 tackles with one sack and seven passes defended for the Falcons. His first career interception sealed a 23-20 win over the Cleveland Browns. He posted a season-high seven tackles with two passes defended at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was credited with a pair of tackles against the Los Angeles Rams including which resulted in a safety.

Alford signed as a free agent with Atlanta last spring following a championship season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He led the Blue Bombers with four interceptions and was second on the team with 48 tackles. He was named to the All-CFL Divisional Team as he helped Winnipeg to an 11-3 record and won the Grey Cup title for a second straight season. Alford was also tabbed to the CFL All-Star Team and was named the Bombers’ Most Outstanding Rookie.

During his Tusculum career (2016-2019), Alford garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors on three occasions including first team accolades during his senior season. He was also named to the 2019 D2CCA All-Super Region 2 Team.