Derick Smith catching on with college football recruiters

Published 6:07 am Sunday, November 13, 2022

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By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

Since the 8th-grade, Southside football player Derick Smith has been a standout on the football field, drawing attention of recruiters who thought he was older due to the skill he showed on the gridiron.

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Now a Sophomore, Smith has received several college offers, including and offer from Nick Saban at The University of Alabama.

“I got the offer when I was a freshman,” Smith said. “ I was shocked. I remember watching them on TV and now to have an opportunity to play for them. It didn’t feel real.”

Southside head coach Charles Moody has been building a culture at Southside since taking over in 2019. That culture is to build up his athletes to succeed on and off the field. Smith, Moody says, is what the program is about when it comes to success.

“It was huge,” said Moody of Smith’s success. “One of the big reasons was everything was set for him. At this point, all he has to do is do his classwork and continue moving in a direction that he is already progressing in athletically. It takes a lot of pressure off of him. For some people, it adds pressure, but in my opinion, it takes a lot of pressure off.

“The reason is because now you have an offer. You don’t need another one, you have what you want. He has 13 to 14 offers right now. The other positive is it brings exposure to the other kids. When they (recruiters) come to see Derick, if another kid is doing what they are supposed to be doing they will see you as well.” 

Smith plays on both sides of the ball and should he choose Alabama he says they are going to get a well-rounded player.

“I’m not really sure what position I want to play right now but when I go to college I am going to do what they want me to do,” Smith said.

Moody said the type of athlete Smith is will allow his college coaches to have a versatile player who can play multiple positions.

“The better question is what he doesn’t do well,” Moody said. “We use him in so many ways. He plays every defensive position except for the line and on offense. On special teams, he can do anything. If Alabama gets Derick they would be getting a player that can do whatever.

“He is one of the most coachable kids on the team. I can tell him whatever I want to tell him and he will get it done. I can put him anywhere I want to put him and he’ll get it done.”

There are more schools that have offered Smith to come play for them besides Alabama. Some of the schools include big-name power 5 conference teams like Georgia, Auburn, West Virginia, and Florida State.

“One thing we are going to do at Southside is we are going to put kids in a position to be successful,” Moody said.

“So (Smith) has always been put in great positions since he has been here. One thing that Derick did was he listened to some of the things I told him early.

Smith’s dad got to experience the offers with his son, and elder Smith said he was so happy for his son when he got the offers.

“He was excited,” Derick Smith said. “He has been on me to keep going and keep doing what I am doing and do something in life.”