There are many sports debates that will rage on for eternity, such as who belongs on the “Mount Rushmore” of NFL wide receivers.

One player that is indisputably on that list is San Francisco 49er legend Jerry Rice, and a comparison to Rice would be high praise for any wide receiver. That is the comparison Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith drew from his former high school coach in a recent ESPN piece from Alex Scarborough.

In Tuscaloosa, Smith is the main man now that fellow wideout Jaylen Waddle is lost for the season due to injury, and he has played like it.

“For us, DeVonta was Jerry Rice 2.0,” said Zephaniah Powell, Smith’s old coach at Amite High School.

“Because Jerry was the same way coming out of Mississippi Valley State University: He wasn’t the biggest, he wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the tallest. But once you got him on that football field, he was technically sound.”

Jerry Rice compiled over 22,000 career receiving yards in the NFL. DeVonta Smith has nearly 3,000 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns to this point in his college career. Smith’s touchdown total ranks No. 1 all-time among receivers in Alabama program history.

Smith is a sure-fire first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and if the comparisons to Rice are even remotely accurate, he will have a fine pro career.

But the first order of business for Smith and the Crimson Tide? That big shiny trophy handed out at the conclusion of the College Football Playoff.