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Alabama defensive back highlights ‘loyalty’ as reason he could not leave the program

Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

Every player on the University of Alabama football roster had a 30-day window to leave the Crimson Tide via the NCAA transfer portal after Nick Saban announced his retirement from coaching on Jan. 10.

Some took the opportunity, but others chose to stay with the Tide.

RELATED: Alabama players that have stood out through six spring practices

Alabama fans will forever be indebted to those who stayed, especially veteran players such as Jalen Milroe, Tyler Booker, and Malachi Moore.

DeVonta Smith, a fourth-year safety, was another player that decided to remain.

He has been through some injuries; however, the coaching staff loves the fighter he is.

Smith missed a lot of action in 2023, but he did play in four games — including the Southeastern Conference Championship against Georgia.

The former four-star is excited to showcase his skill set in spring practice and for next season.

He’s been working in the ‘Husky’ position on defense, displaying his versatility to perform in man coverage, zone coverage, blitz off the edge, and bringing physicality against running backs.

Last week, Smith said ‘loyalty’ kept him with the Crimson Tide. 

“Loyalty is number one,” Smith said to reporters.

“It about not only staying loyal to a coach, but also this program. Everything I have gained from this program, outside of football, I could not leave. Alabama is where I am and Roll Tide forever.”

Alabama nation loves Smith’s loyalty, but he appreciates how the supporters bought into “If it ain’t wearing Crimson” mindset.

“The fans are elite,” Smith said.

“I love the fans. They bring the energy outside the field. I appreciate them and thank them for everything they have done up this point. We got a show for them on August 31.”

Alabama has a tough regular season schedule in the fall, but the first game is at home against Western Kentucky.

Smith is ready to push the defense to a College Football Playoff National Championship, yet everything starts with how this edition of the Tide does in spring practice. Alabama fans are super pumped for the spring game on Saturday, April 13.

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

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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