football Edit

Rivals100 WR DeVonta Smith counting on officials to make up mind

DeVonta Smith during practice at the 2017 Army All-America Bowl
DeVonta Smith during practice at the 2017 Army All-America Bowl (NICK LUCERO |

The three teams everything comes down to for Rivals100 wide receiver DeVonta Smith are not in question.

Alabama, LSU and Miami are the finalists, the unknown is which team is going to make the critical jump during his official visits. After this weekend’s Army All-American Bowl, he’ll visit Baton Rouge on January 13, Tuscaloosa the weekend after that, and then wrap up January with a trip to Coral Gables.

Being from Lousiana, Smith has taken multiple unofficial visits to LSU and Alabama, but his last visit to Miami didn’t quite go the way he hoped, as the Canes and North Carolina played through poor weather in the wake of Hurricane Matthew on October 15.

“It was a sloppy game,” he said. “It was raining so I didn’t really get a good look at what they try and do passing-wise.”


Miami’s quarterback, Brad Kaaya is headed to the NFL Draft following his strong season under Mark Richt, but Smith said he’s not worried about who will replace him should he choose Miami.

“Not at all,” he said.

Smith was equally economical and diplomatic when discussing what each team can do to further their standing with him. What he wasn’t even willing to give was a hint as to what he’s looking to be impressed with when he hits all those campuses.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “That’s up to them.”



“Things are looking good, I’m just getting to know Coach (Matt) Canada and what type of man he is,” he said. “I’ve done some research and I just like the things he does offensively. For me, he’s not looking to keep me at one specific receiver position, they want to play me all over the field.”

On Alabama:

“From what I’ve seen, Coach (Steve) Sarkisian has worked with Coach (Lane) Kiffin for a long time, so I don’t expect there to be much of a difference there,” he said. “He knows that offense just like Kiffin did, he might just call things different than he did, but it’s a pretty balanced offense so I don’t see too much changing.”

...more on Miami:

“They’re showing me they can pass the ball this season and they aren’t afraid to put freshmen on the field,” he said. “I think about early playing time, but anywhere I go it’s up to me if I’m gonna play or not.”


Smith delayed his commitment from earlier in the fall, but if he had his mind made up then, it now seems as though all teams have leveled out ahead of his official visits.

He’s one of the more lean prospects at his position, so the quick playing time he’s intent on earning will likely be pretty situational early-on depending on which team he chooses. He’s just so effective as a receiver that it’s only a matter of time before he contributes somewhere. Right now, this is a classic example of official visits making all the difference in a signing day commitment.