DeVonta Smith’s Alabama Teammates Weren’t Even Sure the ‘Loner’ Could Speak Until They Beat Georgia, Says Nagee Harris

DeVonta Smith had a great college football career at Alabama, and now he’s headed to the NFL. His outstanding play at wide receiver helped make him one of the best receiving threats and will no doubt translate to the pros. But did you know he was so quiet that he’d barely speak, according to teammates? Let’s look at Smith’s time at Alabama, his burgeoning pro career, and how he was so quiet that he shocked teammates when he finally spoke.

DeVonta Smith was fantastic for Alabama

DeVonta Smith of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the College Football Playoff National Championship football game
Alabama player DeVonta Smith | Alika Jenner/Getty Images

According to Sports-Reference, Smith had quite the career playing for Alabama. He had limited opportunities his first two seasons, but during his junior and senior years, he broke out. Last season, Smith had 117 catches for 1,856 yards. He also had 23 touchdowns. He wasn’t just an All-American, he was also the AP Player of the Year in 2020. 

Smith had a talented crew of receivers around him, which explains why he was able to get open so much. But Smith was almost the best of the bunch, which makes his ability to stand out among such a special group truly noteworthy. 

The pro prospects for DeVonta Smith are looking good

The Philadelphia Eagles spent a first-round pick on Smith, and they have high hopes for the young wideout. He’ll join a fellow former Alabama player, quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Eagles are in rebuilding mode at the moment, attempting to stock up on young talent. Smith’s in a good position to be a big part of that rebuild. 

What kind of role will he play next year? It’s impossible to tell before seeing how his small stature translates to the NFL, but it’s a solid bet he’ll contribute almost immediately. Hurts showed flashes of potential last season after taking over for the struggling Carson Wentz. Smith provides Hurts with a dynamic playmaker. 

While Smith typically lets his game do the talking for him, there was one moment following an Alabama game where the star spoke up. It shocked some of his teammates. 

DeVonta Smith’s Alabama teammates weren’t even sure he could talk

A GQ profile on Smith described him as a “typical, reserved Louisiana boy.” He’s known for being quiet and contemplative. The young athlete often opted out of parties despite his celebrity status on campus. Some reporters liken speaking to him with talking to a brick wall. But when Smith does speak, his words carry a lot of weight. He’s reserved and choosy about who he spends time with.

The 22-year-old explained, “I’m very cautious with who I’m around. I’m always looking over my shoulder. That’s just me. If it ain’t family, I don’t wanna be there.” Smith isn’t always so quiet, however.

He had one moment where he caught his teammates off guard with his words. After an emotional game against Georgia last season, Smith entered the locker room with his teammates, overcome after a hard-fought victory. Smith looked at his teammates and said, “I love y’all boys, man.” It was the most some players had heard him speak. 

His teammate, the talented Najee Harris, was flummoxed by the rare display of emotion: “I was right next to him … I was like, this [expletive] speaks?” he laughs. “This [expletive] has emotions?” Smith was a great player in college and will likely be a great one in the NFL. If he is, he can talk as little – or as much — as he wants. 

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