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Smith hasn’t heard from LSU in a month?
It was a surprise to see LSU, out of nowhere, become one of 4-star Amite (La.) High School wide receiver Devonta Smith’s finalists shortly before his commitment date that was originally set for Aug. 15.
He eventually postponed his decision until National Signing Day because of the tragic flooding that affected the state of Louisiana.
Smith was going to announce his decision between Alabama, LSU and Miami, but now he’s reopened his recruitment.
One of those schools looks to be quickly falling out of the race — LSU. According to a source close to Smith’s recruitment, the Tigers have not reached out to Louisiana’s No. 1 prospect in a month.
“They’re in his top 3,” the source said. “He’s been waiting on them to call, but they haven’t done so. They’re just not pursuing him.”
Why would the Tigers not get in touch with the state’s top prospect? Is it because they are consenting defeat to Alabama, which is considered the school to beat? That could be it, but the source said his decision is not set in stone.
Either way, one less school for Alabama to battle with is good news for the Crimson Tide. It’s going to take a lot for LSU to get back in the race, but the good news for the Tigers is that they do have until February. Smith will make his commitment on National Signing Day.
New schools such as Tennessee and Texas are getting in the mix, but Alabama still is the clear favorite to land the nation’s No. 10 wide receiver when he makes his commitment. The reasons for the overwhelming confidence have been well-documented on SEC Country. He’s good friends with Alabama freshman defensive back Shyheim Carter; close with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, running backs coach Burton Burns and wide receivers coach Billy Napier; and assistant director of player personnel Sam Petitto served as a father figure in Smith’s life when he lived in Louisiana.
There are lot of obstacles in the way of schools not named Alabama, but it is puzzling how LSU seems content with just letting the state’s top player leave the Boot and likely attend one of its biggest rivals.
It could be because at one point during his recruitment, Smith had said that he was not a fan of the Tigers offense and had the desire to leave the state for college. He did eventually tone down those comments and ultimately did consider LSU as a contender leading up to that postponed decision.
If LSU is so sure that it has no chance of signing him, perhaps it is a good thing to not recruit him strongly. If he’s on campus, he would be able to persuade other top recruits to join him at Alabama. He’s very close with several elite prospects from Louisiana such as 2018 5-star LSU cornerback commit Kelvin Joseph, who is strongly considering Alabama, and 2019 5-star defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher.
But LSU being concerned with him visiting doesn’t necessarily add up because LSU is allowing Alabama linebacker commit VanDarius Cowan to take an official visit to the school. Cowan is by far the most vocal Tide commit in the Class of 2017. It would be shocking if he didn’t try to recruit other players while he’s on campus for Alabama. This, after all, is a recruit who showed up to Florida’s game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium wearing Florida State gear when he was a Seminoles commit. He openly bashed the Gators while on campus, too.
Smith will be back on Alabama’s campus multiple times this fall. It would be very surprising if the Tide did not land his signature come Feb. 1, 2017.
Follow Chris on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.