Junior Colleges

Gulf Coast ‘humbled’ him, now this former LSU cornerback is headed to Alabama

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College cornerback Saivion Smith makes a catch during practice on Monday, August 7, 2017. Smith committed to Alabama on Wednesday.
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College cornerback Saivion Smith makes a catch during practice on Monday, August 7, 2017. Smith committed to Alabama on Wednesday. amccoy@sunherald.com file

For the second year in a row Alabama is getting one of the top junior college prospects in the nation from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Former LSU cornerback Saivion Smith announced Wednesday he has verbally committed to Alabama.

He’s the second MGCCC product in as many years to commit to fall in love with the Crimson Tide after former defensive end Isaiah Buggs signed with Alabama last December.

Smith announced his decision on Twitter.

“Throughout thepast 6 months I’ve matured on and off the field and MGCCC has humbled me beyond measure,” Smith tweeted. “I would like (to) thank all of the coaches and universities that gave me a second chance at this process.

“However I’ve decided to further my education and football career at the University of Alabama. #RTR”

The Tide are getting the No. 1 JUCO cornerback in the nation and a versatile athlete who oozes swagger on the field. For Gulf Coast this year, Smith recorded 31 tackles, one forced fumble and led the Bulldogs with six pass breakups and two interceptions. He proved to be a threat in the return game as well, returning 26 kicks for 718 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed once on a sweep and caught three passes for 26 yards.

“I’m more of a cover guy, but I tackle when I have to,” he told the Sun Herald in August. “You (have to) respect me. You’re not just going to run my way every time. You’re definitely going to respect me.”

Smith will be able to make his commitment official on Dec. 20.

An IMG Academy graduate, Smith originally enrolled early at LSU and played 10 games as a freshman, recording four tackles and knocking away four passes. In June, Smith surprised many Tiger fans when he announced his plans to transfer.

“My parents and I have decided it’s in the best interest for my growth as a student-athlete and young adult that I transfer from LSU,” Smith tweeted at the time.

Once at Perkinston, he elaborated on his goals at the junior college level.

“Definitely (improve) in the classroom. That’s No. 1,” he said. “On the field, I just want to continue to learn from Coach (Stevon) Moore. He’s an ex-NFL player. It’s always good having an NFL guy teaching you, especially knowing that’s the level I want to be at.

“That’s the biggest thing.”

Smith previously reported offers from Alabama, Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and South Carolina.

He said then that early playing time was on top of his list.

“I’m looking to go somewhere and start off the bat,” he said. “I’m going to be a junior when I go in, so I’m only going to have two years left. I’m looking to go somewhere, start and make an impact early.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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