Evaluating Alabama Commit, SI All-American Candidate 2021 DB Devonta Smith

Tyler Martin

Earlier this summer, the University of Alabama football program was able to make a splash on the recruiting trail, flipping 2021 defensive back Devonta Smith from Ohio State to the Crimson Tide. 

Smith, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, recorded 10 tackles last Friday night in La Salle High School's 35-14 victory over Lakota East. 

"Alabama is getting a great kid off the field," La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin told Bama Central when Smith pledged to the Crimson Tide in June. "He is really good in the classroom. A hard-worker. A leader. Someone who puts the team above themselves. He can play multiple positions. He'll play corner, safety, receiver, and return kicks for us. So he is very versatile. He is a play maker every time he gets on the field."

The Sports Illustrated All-American candidate stands at nearly 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and is one of those prototype corners coach Nick Saban values in his defensive scheme. 

Smith also held offers from Oklahoma, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Michigan, and many others. 

Here is SI All-American's full evaluation of what Smith is bringing to Tuscaloosa:

Prospect: DB Devonta Smith 

Projected Position: Cornerback

Status: SI All-American candidate 

Vitals: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds 

Position: Cornerback

School: Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle 

Committed to: Alabama

Frame: Impressive body for cornerback. Broad shoulders and long arms. Slender, tightly-wound lower half. Plenty of room for additional muscle; should handle 20 extra pounds with ease. 

Athleticism: Good speed. Long-strider in open field, with above-average burst. Flexible hips and ankles. Light feet; little wasted motion while cutting. Natural hands. Outstanding leaper, capable of contorting body in air and high-pointing jump balls. Solid play strength as tackler, fighting off blocks. 

Instincts: Comfortable tracking ball as man or zone defender. Innate awareness in coverage. Can break off assignment to fool quarterbacks into interceptions and deflections. Embraces physicality. Willing, able tackler in run game; arrives low, with power. 

Polish: Boasts size, strength and athleticism to play in Big 10 right now. Little film of press coverage, but possesses tools to thrive jamming at LOS. Clear understanding of coverage concepts and responsibilities. Patient sussing through traffic while offering run support. 

Bottom Line: Smith has the chance to outperform expectation coming out of high school. Alabama recruits nationally but Smith’s commitment has far more to do with his impressive collection of physical and mental tools. Should fly up the rankings his senior year, and eventually emerge as a starter in Tuscaloosa – at the very least.

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Comments (1)
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Joey Blackwell
Joey Blackwell


Well that name's going to get confusing...