Nick Saban gushes over DeVonta Smith after record-setting game
DeVonta Smith made SEC history in Alabama’s 63-3 rout of Kentucky on Saturday. With his 10-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter, he broke the conference record for most career scoring catches with 32. He added a 2nd touchdown in the 3rd quarter to give himself 33 on the year—with several more games to go.
Smith’s statistical output has been impressive, even more so considering the wide receivers that have come through the program. The previous mark was held by Amari Cooper, with NFL rookies Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III next on the list with 26 and 24, respectively.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who holds up the core values of the program and reinforces those core values to other players on the team any better than Smitty does,” head coach Nick Saban said after the game. “First of all, he sets a great example, he’s got great work ethic, but he’s not afraid to take a guy one-on-one and talk to him about what he can do to improve or why we do some of the things that we do and how it can benefit them in the future.”
And while Smith could have easily declared for the NFL Draft after the 2019 season, the Louisiana native felt there was some unfinished business to handle.
“Smitty came back because he wanted to have a great, productive year,” Saban said. “He wanted to get a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger and improve his draft status. And I certainly think he’s demonstrating that in a really, really positive way so far this year.”