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Alabama in the Pros

DeVonta Smith plays with a heavy heart for Henry Ruggs, gives dominant outing for Eagles vs. Chargers

DeVonta Smith catching a pass in warmups for Eagles prior to game against Falcons
Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

DeVonta Smith did all he could to help the Eagles on Sunday versus the Los Angeles Chargers.

Philadelphia knew he was special, so it wasted no time trading with the Dallas Cowboys to get him at No. 10 overall. He and Jalen Hurts have a connection, but they need time for it to become lethal. Before this season, the biggest play for both came at Alabama in the 2017 season. Hurts hit Smith on a 10-yard slant versus Mississippi State, and the receiver broke a tackle for a 26-yard touchdown. Smith clinched the game with the score, helping the Crimson Tide to a 31-24 victory at Davis Wade Stadium.

The connection assisted Alabama to a national championship.

As the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, Smith recorded 116 yards receiving on five passes — including a 28-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. The Louisiana native tied the game at 24, but the Eagles’ defense could not get a stop.

Smith led all receivers for yards and averaged 23.2 yards per reception. He was Hurts’ big-play target all game; however, the Chargers earned a 27-24 victory. Smith posted 100+ receiving yards for a second time as a rookie, adding to his mark of 122 yards versus Kansas City.

Philadelphia has yet to win a home game, but its high-flying wide receiver is poised to bring it a victory.

Smith practiced all week with a heavy heart, and it showed in his touchdown celebration.

He held three fingers in the air as a symbol for his former Alabama teammate, Henry Ruggs III.

“Three’s up” was Ruggs’ celebration to honor his fallen friend, Roderic Scott, who died in a tragic car accident in 2016. Ruggs is facing a legal situation after a serious car wreck in Las Vegas claimed the life of a 23-year-old woman.


Reports of Ruggs’ blood alcohol levels being over the limit and him driving 156 miles per hour are out. He was charged with DUI (resulting in death) and reckless driving.

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Smith won two national championships in four years with the Crimson Tide. He knows how it feels to not achieve the big prize; however, he also knows how to earn it too.  He and the Eagles will face the Broncos next week on the road, while its next home game will be on Nov. 21 against New Orleans. Smith has 38 receptions for 537 yards and two scores.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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