It’s unlikely DeVonta Smith will ever be remembered for anything more at Alabama than his game-winning touchdown catch in the 2018 national title game. But could he be moving to the defensive side of the ball?
Coach Nick Saban said Tuesday afternoon that the sophomore receiver will also spend time at cornerback this spring, even though, “that’s not our plan for him,” Saban said.
Nick Saban: DeVonta Smith can play corner, but "that's not our plan for him."
Said he works with CBs during individual periods, and with WRs during team stuff.
— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) March 20, 2018
Aside from making the biggest play (and last) play of the year, Smith didn’t light it up as a freshman receiver. He caught 8 passes for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns, and never had more than one reception in a game.
If Saban’s staff feels the Tide are deep enough at receiver to survive Smith’s absence, it’s no surprise to see him working at cornerback. Smith is a former 4-star WR recruit, the No. 9 pass catcher in the country in 2017 per 247Sports composite.
However, Smith is no stranger to the cornerback position. He was an all-state performer in Louisiana in 2014 at CB before making the switch to offense. According to SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman, coaches once believed Smith could have been a first round draft pick at cornerback one day.
Alabama is somewhat thin and inexperienced at defensive back right now. It’s trying to replace the likes of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Levi Wallace, Tony Brown, Anthony Averett and Ronnie Harrison.
The Tide have reinforcements coming in the form of three bluechip corners in the 2018 class, but they won’t be on campus until this summer.
Until then, expect Saban to continue hedging his bets with Smith at defensive back.
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