What it means: three-star DB DeVonta Smith commits to Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide continued its recent recruiting run Monday night as it secured a commitment from three-star defensive back DeVonta Smith. The Cincinnati native is the ninth member of Alabama's 2021 class and the sixth player to commit to the Crimson Tide since May.
Smith, 6-foot, 185 pounds, is rated as the No. 32 cornerback in the nation. He joins four-star safety Kaine Williams as the two defensive backs currently committed to Alabama.
Smith is coming off a junior season in which he recorded 38 tackles, three interceptions and a fumble recovery on defense as well as 11 receptions for 271 yards and five touchdowns on offense while leading La Salle High School to a state championship. He has no relation to the current Alabama senior receiver who shares the same name.
Andrew Bone of BamaInsider.com provides an instant analysis of Alabama’s latest commitment in the video above.
Saban called on Alabama great to help land Crimson Tide's latest commit
It’s a challenge to build a relationship in the days of social distancing, but Nick Saban has a way of making things work. The Alabama head coach has been hot on the heels of recent Crimson Tide commit DeVonta Smith, speaking with the three-star cornerback three times a week.
Since receiving his Alabama offer in February, Smith has been in constant communication with Crimson Tide coaches. However, the novel coronavirus pandemic caused him to cancel his visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala. in late March.
That’s about the time Saban brought out the big guns.
Fortunately for Alabama, Smith is the cousin of former NFL MVP running back and Crimson Tide great Shaun Alexander. Knowing that, Saban turned to the Tide legend for a little help on the recruiting front.
DeVonta Smith brings blazing speed, versatility to Alabama secondary
Who is DeVonta Smith? His coaches have a tough time answering that question about the 2021 three-star prospect who shares a name, but no relation, to Alabama's wide receiver.
Smith's defensive coordinator, Jay Roden, thinks of his own three boys, ages 7-13.
"That's who they look up to," Roden said of Smith. "That's who they admire. I mean, that's what you want. You got a guy who Friday night is the dude, and then at your house on Saturdays, the nicest most polite kid there is."
National perspective: Analysts weigh in on DeVonta Smith
"We loved Devonta on junior film and rated him for the first time in the post-junior season rankings update. As with many prospects we have not see in-person, there were a few questions we wanted to get answered before granting him a four-star rating, but he started out as one of the highest-ranked three-stars in the cornerback rankings and is currently the second-highest ranked three-star in the state of Ohio 2021 rankings.