Offseason attrition continues, this time with inside linebacker Petey Smith. The rising redshirt freshman linebacker will be transferring to Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Per Izzy Gould:
Alabama linebacker Petey Smith will transfer to Holmes Community College in Mississippi, he confirmed Monday afternoon.
"Basically, I just felt that I wasn't giving it my all," Smith said. "I'm not going to say I wasn't happy. I didn't feel like I had an opportunity to show what I could do with reps and everything. Instead of waiting, I thought I'd just go somewhere else."
"I just thought it wasn't the place for me," Smith said of Alabama. "I didn't want to wait until my junior or senior year. ...I'm just gonna go (to Holmes), play the football season and then I can really choose what school I want to go to through the recruiting process over again."
Given the candid nature of his comments, it's not difficult to figure out exactly what is driving this decision. Smith was a member of the 2009 recruiting class but greyshirted out of high school, and after more than a year on campus he was not making any significant progress toward earning meaningful playing time. Being behind upperclassmen is one thing, but once you start getting passed over by younger players -- read Trey DePriest and others -- then it's time to make a decision about your future.
The options are to either stick it out for the long haul knowing that if you ever become a significant contributor it will only be after years of waiting (if then), or you can transfer out to a JUCO program and hope to rejuvenate your career somewhere else after an impressive stint in junior college. Some players choose to rough it out for years on end, others choose to move on and hope for the best at another destination. Smith decided he would join the latter category, plain and simple. Give him credit for making what seems to be an informed decision.
Either way, best of luck to Smith. All things considered this seems like the right decision based on his priorities, and he deserves credit for doing things the right way. He stayed out of the off-field trouble that plagued the short career of his brother, and by all accounts he took care of things in the classroom as well. We'll probably see him back in Division 1-A football soon enough, and best of luck to him wherever he ends up.