On the move from Alabama, a pair of former (maybe, in one case) Tide defensive backs could remain in the South to continue their collegiate playing careers.
Earlier this week, al.com reported that senior Maurice Smith (pictured, No. 21) has decided to leave ‘Bama and move on as a graduate transfer. In a subsequent interview with SBNation.com, Smith said he is “highly considering” a transfer to Miami. From the State of the U website:
According to our conversation, Smith loved the outlook of Coach Richt, and already has a relationship with Diaz, from his days at Texas. He felt that Miami was on the “come up”.
However, in a statement attributed to the Smith family, a return to Tuscaloosa is not out of the question. “[Smith] has chosen to entertain options for his senior season of college football… [having] positioned him[self] with the option to either complete his college football career at Alabama, or exercise his graduate-transfer option to play his true Senior season at another institution.”
Oregon, Oregon State and Wisconsin have also reportedly been in play for the defensive back.
One of Smith’s former Tide teammates, Shawn Burgess-Becker, had announced earlier this month his decision to transfer from the school. According to a report from al.com, there’s a “98-percent” chance Burgess-Becker transfers to UCF. The same source added that “[o]ne of the only things that could lead to Burgess-Becker going somewhere other than Central Florida is a scholarship offer from Miami.”
A final, public decision from the rising sophomore is expected to come no later than Friday.
A four-star member of the Tide’s 2015 recruiting class, Burgess-Becker was rated by 247Sports.com as the No. 10 athlete in the country; the No. 24 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 166 prospect overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.
As a true freshman, Burgess-Becker played in 13 games, mainly on special teams. He was credited with three tackles.
Also a four-star recruit, albeit in the Class of 2013, Smith was rated as the No. 9 corner in the country and the No. 84 prospect overall. All told, Smith played in 41 games for the Tide. He started a pair of those contests.
Smith will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. Burgess-Baker will be forced to sit out the 2016 season, then have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.