TUSCALOOSA — Minutes after his quarterback declared he was turning pro, the other side of Alabama's famous "second-and-26" touchdown play from the 2017 national championship game made his own announcement.
Crimson Tide junior receiver DeVonta Smith announced through social media that he planned to return to Tuscaloosa for his senior season, forgoing early entry into the NFL.
"There's a lot I have left to accomplish as a player and as a student, and I feel that my time is not up at Alabama," Smith wrote. "I have unfinished business to take care of and the only way to do that is to stay one more year. After praying and talking with my family and Coach (Nick) Saban, I've decided that I will return for my senior season."
Smith becomes the third of Alabama's loaded junior class to announce their intentions to return, following similar social media declarations made by middle linebacker Dylan Moses and right tackle Alex Leatherwood. Meanwhile, five other juniors have already declared their intentions of entering the 2020 NFL draft, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, receiver Jerry Jeudy, safety Xavier McKinney and right tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. Redshirt junior outside linebacker Terrell Lewis is also going pro after opting to not participate in Alabama's Citrus Bowl game in favor of preparing for the NFL draft.
Crimson Tide fans are still awaiting word on junior running back Najee Harris and receiver Henry Ruggs III, who is expected to announce his decision later this week.
Smith, who reportedly received a second-round draft grade from the NFL's College Advisory Committee, led Alabama with 1,256 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 68 catches this past season as one of the Tide's two 1,000-yard receivers along with fellow junior receiver Jerry Jeudy (77 catches for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns).
Alex Byington is the Montgomery Advertiser's Alabama beat reporter. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @_AlexByington.