The biggest story surrounding Alabama football recently has been what the team is going to do with defensive back Maurice Smith.
Smith, a recent graduate, requested a transfer from Alabama to Georgia. The Crimson Tide granted his wishes, though they didn’t need to, on Wednesday. It’s now in the hands of the SEC. Even though Smith has been granted a release from Alabama, the SEC needs to approve of him going to another school in the conference.
Nick Saban was firm in his stance of not allowing Smith to transfer to another school in the conference citing SEC policy.
“We have done everything that we can do institutionally to allow the conference to make the decision about whatever they decide is in the best interest of the conference and the SEC rules relative to Maurice Smith,” Saban said. “So that is past us now. It is beyond us. We don’t really need to talk about that anymore and I don’t have any other comments to make about it. We’re trying to focus on the guys we have here and what we need to do to help those guys have a chance to be successful.”
Several Alabama commitments were asked for their thoughts on the Smith saga. Here is what they told SEC Country:
Alabama commits react to Maurice Smith transfer situation:
4-star linebacker VanDarius Cowan: “Dude is going to Georgia? Please, let him go so we can beat them again. I really wish I was at Alabama. But yeah, if he’s transferring, I think he should be allowed to go anywhere that a former coach that was at Alabama isn’t currently.”
Nation’s No. 1 junior college prospect, offensive lineman Elliot Baker: “I think he should be allowed to transfer wherever he wants. Why shouldn’t he able to?”
2-star long snapper Thomas Fletcher: “I don’t know much about why he wants to leave, but I feel like it would be frustrating not being allowed to. If he really is that unhappy then I can see where he would be upset not being allowed to leave, but on the other hand, you know when you go to a school that people, especially coaches, are going to change and everything might not be the same as when you got there.”
4-star running back Brian Robinson: “I really haven’t paid much attention to it.”
3-star offensive lineman Hunter Brannon: “No comment.”
Note on 4-star WR target
Jeff Thomas, Class ’17, is one of the wide receiver targets Alabama fans should have an eye on. He’s a recruit who could potentially join the class this fall if he improves his academics and if the numbers don’t look as tight (which I don’t think will happen) as they look now with 21 commitments.
Now there is this to consider when it comes to Thomas’ recruitment: his teammate, and quarterback at East Saint Louis (Ill.) High School, Reyondous Estes committed to Missouri on Wednesday. Estes said his top target that he wants to join him in Missouri is Thomas.
However, Thomas, who told SEC Country at The Opening that Alabama leads for him, maintains the Crimson Tide are still on top.
With Alabama likely getting a commitment from 4-star wide receiver Devonta Smith on Monday and 4-star Henry Ruggs III down the road, spots at wide receiver are likely non-existent. The Tide also have commitments from 4-stars Tyrell Shavers and Jerry Jeudy. The plan has been for Alabama to sign four wide receivers. Again, if spots open up due to de-commitments, then it’s possible another receiver could be taken. But now, four wide receivers remains the plan.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.