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DeVonta Smith engages in Alabama

Who is DeVonta Smith?

His coaches have difficulty answering this question about the 2021 three-star perspective that shares a name, but no relationship, with the large recipient of Alabama.

Smith’s defensive coordinator, Jay Roden, thinks of his three boys, 7-13 years old.

“That’s who they look at,” said Roden of Smith. “It’s what they admire. I mean, it’s what you want. You have a boy who is the type on Friday night, and then at your house on Saturday, the kindest and most polite boy there is.”

Smith pledged to Alabama Monday evening after withdrawing from the state of Ohio on Thursday. The 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back recorded 38 tackles, three interceptions and recovered a fumble while leading the La Salle team to a state championship in 201


Smith spends most of his time defending in a safe position, but Alabama is mainly recruiting him as a corner kick.

It’s no surprise to La Salle’s head coach Pat McLaughlin. He would have played Smith at the cornerback more often if his role seemed different.

“I think it helps their football IQ,” said McLaughlin of the players who face multiple positions. “I think it helps them understand the game a little more, and I think it leaves them more room for growth when they get to college.”

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