The University of Alabama is searching for another defensive back in the 2013 class, and the Crimson Tide have reached out to the Lone Star State, extending an offer to Texas cornerback Maurice Smith on Tuesday.
Smith received a call from UA offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, his main recruiter, but it was head coach Nick Saban who gave him the scholarship offer.
“He was a pleasure,” Smith said of Saban. “It was an honor really. I’ve heard about his achievements and his accomplishments, so when I got to talk to him, I was just in awe. We had a great talk. He told me the facts about the academic program, how many academic All-Americans graduated and how many athletes get degrees before their senior year. It was very impressive.”
For Smith, an ESPNU Watch List member, academics is his No. 1 priority when choosing a school. He now has 11 offers from some of the top programs in the country, but Alabama stood out to him, not just on the football field, but academically as well.
“I always put God first and academics second, so academics was one of the biggest things I was looking for when we were talking,” Smith said. “He was telling me how their players are taken care of. It’s one of the top schools in graduation rate for not only athletes, but the whole school.”
The Sugar Land, Texas, native has offers from in-state schools Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, but he says he wouldn’t have a problem leaving the state as long as he found a place where he’s comfortable.
“I’m okay with leaving Texas,” Smith said. “Wherever I go, my parents are going to support me, so that’s why I don’t have to stay in Texas. But also, if I were to get hurt, like a career-ending injury, I would have to be okay to stay there and like the surroundings and environment even if I’m not playing football.”
Smith has never been to Tuscaloosa, but he’s trying to schedule a trip to UA this spring to see what the Crimson Tide program has to offer.
The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback hasn’t thought much about a decision yet. He wouldn’t mind getting it out of the way before his senior year at Dulles High School, but if not, he’d like to make it on national signing day.
“That’s a question I’ve been going over with my parents,” Smith said. “I really want to commit before my senior year starts, but if it gets to the point where I have to wait, I’ll just do it on signing day and make it kind of a surprise.”