Maurice Smith (6-foot-1, 175), four-star cornerback from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas, provided a press release about his decision to commit to the University of Alabama.
"Maurice Smith II (Fort Bend Sugarland Dulles c/o 2013) has researched, evaluated, and visited and has reached his decision to commit to University of Alabama and play for Nick Saban's defense. Maurice was offered to play cornerback in March 2012 by the Crimson Tide amongst offers from many of the top and most celebrated SEC, Pac 12, & Big Ten programs.
Recently, Maurice Smith II made a string of visits which included LSU and Alabama. Plans to visit OSU, Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and a couple of Florida schools were underway, as well as return visits to OU, UT, and Texas A&M, however, all have now been cancelled.
The recent camp held at Alabama provided an opportunity for Maurice to evaluate the program in more depth as well as Saban's style of coaching. The intensity and structure of the Alabama program rested comfortably with Maurice as he likened it to training by his fathers own program as well as that he is currently under at Dulles High School with Coach Jim Creech.
"It has always been fun to play for Coach Creech because, although he was tough, he always let you know where you stood. I like knowing what to expect and what I can do to earn approval and not consequences. To me, it's easier to do the right thing if I know what that is.
"I like systems and processes so I can focus on the things I need to. I knew this would be one of the biggest decisions in my life, and at 16 it seemed almost too big, and a lot of pressure. But someone told me that I would know when it was right. It just felt right, with no pressure, or expectation, it is just right for me. Roll Tide."
What was commonly known is that UT was his childhood favorite. Dreams of playing for UT were always discussed and at the forefront of his desires for offers. The family environment and sincerity of Mack Brown further added to the lean towards Texas.
Texas A&M was also a leader as Coach Sumlin and DB Coach Yates were heavily considered. LSU's DB Coach Raymond, Baylor's strength and conditioning program stood out and OU's entire program was elevated in his choices with an early visit to their campus for a Junior Day visit.
Nebraska and Arkansas were at the top as well. Once evaluations of programs were underway, the fit for his defensive skill sets, as well as plans for his development seemed most complimented with Alabama's style of defense and specifically their DB training.
Academically, Maurice felt he couldn't go wrong with any of the programs. Academic support and escalated degree programs were present at all the schools.
Most importantly is the gratefulness of the Smith family for the interest and offers from all of the schools.
"God has truly blessed our family. We are humbled by all of it and thank all of the schools that fostered this opportunity. We are grateful for their interest in our son and value the relationships that were built. Our paths may cross again and we don't take it for granted the time and effort that each coach and recruiter invested.
From the beginning we said it would be Maurice's choice, but with our guidance. We are proud of his maturity and growth in this process and feel he has been a good example to his younger brother, Ainias. Now, Maurice can focus on being a Christian student athlete and enjoy his upcoming senior year."
FoxSportsNext also met with Smith Friday afternoon for exclusive video about his commitment. WATCH HERE
Parker McLeod, three-star quarterback from Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., was one of several signal callers who performed in Alabama's camp this past week. It was the red-head from the Peach State who got the nod Friday afternoon of the 'official offer.' McLeod jumped on the chance to play college football for the 2011 BCS National Champions.
Derrick Henry, five-star running back from Yulee High School in Fla., is on Alabama's campus for an unofficial weekend visit. He posted a photo on Twitter Friday afternoon.
CommitmentsMaurice Smith, four-star cornerback, to Alabama.
Parker McLeod, three-star quarterback, to Alabama.
Jordan Smallwood, three-star wide receiver, to Oklahoma.
Brad North, three-star offensive guard, to Northwestern.
Rami Hammad, three-star offensive guard, to Oklahoma.
Jajuan Dulaney, three-star offensive tackle, to Maryland.
Troy Williams, four-star quarterback, to Washington.
Andrew Tercek, three-star center, to Boise State.
dpshow: Doug O'Neill: "I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont."