A comparison to former Alabama star Marcell Dareus is worth a thousand recruiting letters—just ask new Alabama commitment O.J. Smith.
Smith is the seventh recruit to commit to the Crimson Tide's 2014 class, and he's the first defensive tackle to choose Nick Saban's program. He is a 3-star defensive tackle recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and he checks in at 6'2'', 320 pounds.
More impressive than Smith's size, though, is his quickness. He runs a 4.90 40, according to 247Sports, which is elite speed for a defensive lineman who weighs more than 300 pounds.
Andrew Bone of Rivals.com (subscription required) reports on the commitment:
O.J. Smith, defensive tackle from Airline High School in Bossier City, La., ended his recruitment Friday morning after speaking with Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
"I committed to Alabama," said Smith. "I talked to Coach Saban this morning on Skype. He compared me to Marcell Dareus. I talked to my family after we spoke with him. I decided to go ahead and commit. They offered me today. I have been talking to them for a while though."
Isn't it nice to have an alumnus like Dareus? Making such a comparison makes the recruit feel special and lets him know that Saban has recruited players who have gone on to be stars.
While we're at it, let's throw Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram in for running backs, Mark Barron and Dre Kirkpatrick in for defensive backs, Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower for linebackers and Julio Jones for wide receivers. And that's just mentioning a few former Alabama standouts.
But back to Smith. To make his commitment even sweeter, he's a native of Muscle Shoals, Ala. He's being recruited out of Airline High School in Bossier City, La., but if he stays committed, he'll be coming home to Alabama as a member of the Crimson Tide's 2014 recruiting class.
Smith projects to be a nose tackle who will demand double-teams because of his size, but he'll also be able to get into the backfield and shoot the gap because of his quickness.