As it turns out, the Alabama receiver who caught the game-winning touchdown in the National Championship Game was a player who Georgia failed to reel in.
Crimson Tide true freshman WR DeVonta Smith’s only reception during Alabama’s dramatic 26-23 overtime win over Georgia came on the 41-yard dart thrown by fellow true freshman Tua Tagovailoa on the final play.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Louisiana native was once committed to Georgia when Mark Richt was still in Athens, but the same attention the outgoing coach gave the 4-star prospect wasn’t there once Kirby Smart took over.
“I committed because Coach Richt was there,” Smith said in the locker room after the game, according to the New York Post. “When he left, I didn’t know what they were going to do, who would be the wide receivers coach. So I decommitted.”
Prior to Monday, Smith saw limited action for Alabama, only recording 6 catches for 115 yards and 2 TDs. He never had more than one catch in a game, and although that didn’t change against Georgia, that lone reception was the most significant one of the entire college football season.
Smith was rated as the No. 9 WR and No. 62 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite. He committed to Georgia pretty early in the process in August 2015 before going back on that pledge in January 2016.
He eventually committed to Nick Saban and the Tide on National Signing Day a little over a year later.