Real life rudely intervened the past couple of days and we largely missed the two new commitments Alabama added to the 2013 recruiting class, but we'll address them at length today.
First comes the commitment of Maurice Smith, a cornerback prospect out of Sugar Land, Texas. As of last month, Smith had planned to postpone his announcement until the Under Armour All-American Game this upcoming January, but a recent camp in Tuscaloosa apparently changed his mind. He and his family issued a press release regarding his commitment to Alabama, the relevant excerpt of which follows below, per Matt Scalici:
It has always been fun to play for (Dulles High School head coach) Creech because, although he was tough, he always let you know where you stood," Smith said in the release. "I like knowing what to expect and what I can do to earn approval and not consequences. To me, it's easier to do the right thing if I know what that is. I like systems and processes so I can focus on the things I need to. I knew this would be one of the biggest decisions in my life, and at 16 it seemed almost too big, and a lot of pressure. But someone told me that I would know when it was right. It just felt right, with no pressure, or expectation, it is just right for me. Roll Tide.
This news comes as a surprise to many, though Smith has been on the radar screen for the past couple of months. He visited Tuscaloosa and attended the annual A-Day game this past April, coming away with nothing but glowing reviews. No one knew at the time, of course, if that would eventually wane and the distance be too great to overcome in the end, but it certainly does not seem to be the case at that time.
Smith is considered a four-star recruit by all of the major recruiting services, and his offer list features all of the typical players for top prospects out of the Lone Star State, including Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, and Texas A&M, among others. Will Muschamp also tried to recruit him to play at Florida, and generally speaking he could had his pick of any school in the country.
By and large Smith fits the physical mold of the typical Nick Saban defensive back, coming in at roughly 6'0 and 180 pounds. He does not have the high-end athleticism of, say, a DeMarcus Milliner or a Dre Kirkpatrick, but nevertheless he generally moves pretty well, and plays the game with a very physical style. Furthermore, it certainly seems that Smith has the mindset and the work ethic which is necessary to survive and ultimately thrive in Nick Saban's demanding program.
Can he play outside at corner at Alabama? That could be up for debate, and in the end it is perhaps possible that he could be moved either inside to the star position or moved back to safety. Alabama does not necessarily have a depth problem at corner, but Smith certainly has all of the billing of a quality addition to the program, and as pass-happy as college football has become, an excess of defensive backs is for all intents and purposes an impossibility.
Smith becomes the fifteenth commitment of the 2013 recruiting class.
Addendum: The obligatory highlights via YouTube: