Alabama lost its wide receivers coach in Billy Napier just four days before National Signing Day to Arizona State where he’ll be the Sun Devils’ offensive coordinator. That, however, did not affect the Crimson Tide’s chances at landing one of the nation’s smoothest route runners.
DeVonta Smith, a 4-star wide receiver from Amite (La.) High School, committed to Alabama over LSU, Florida State and Miami during a ceremony at his school. Smith becomes the Tide’s fourth wide receiver in the Class of 2017, as he joins 5-star prospect Jerry Jeudy, 4-star prospect Tyrell Shavers and 4-star prospect Henry Ruggs III, who signed with Alabama earlier on Wednesday.
Ever since de-committing from Georgia in January 2016, Alabama was viewed as the favorite to land Smith because of his strong relationships with the Tide staff. Alabama assistant director of player personnel Sam Petitto was a father figure to Smith when he was growing up. Petitto got his coaching start at Amite High School. Smith is also very good friends with freshman cornerback Shyheim Carter. Both players share the same mentor in Vincent Sanders.
Make no mistake about it, though, his relationship with Napier was very important to his recruitment, so it’s a big win for Alabama to get Smith on board in the coach’s absence.
Alabama looked like it was going to land Smith back in August when he was originally set to announce his commitment; however, he delayed it because of the devastating floods that came through Louisiana.
Over the past several months, LSU, led by Ed Orgeron, wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig and offensive coordinator Matt Canada, chipped away at Alabama’s lead. But in the end, the lead the Tide held behind the scenes was just too much for LSU to overcome.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
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