- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
Editor's note: This is a series introducing Alabama's 2013 recruiting class that will run through signing day.
Many people expected ESPN 150 cornerback Maurice Smith (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) to stay in Texas and commit to the Longhorns or the Aggies, but after he visited Alabama in April for the Crimson Tide’s spring game, he had other ideas. He put Bama on top, and during a return trip to Tuscaloosa over the summer he committed to the Tide. This week, Smith is competing at the Under Armour All-America Game in Florida.
Q: What made you commit to Alabama?
A: After taking my visit, I figured out that that was probably the best place for me not only to get a top-notch education but to maybe get a national championship ring and also to get the best one-on-one work, technique work, at my position from one of the best head coaches in the game. The coaches, the staff, the people and the town, it’s just a great place to be.
Q: What’s life been like since your commitment?
A: It’s slowed down. I don’t have to talk to a lot of reporters or call coaches every week. It’s been very laid back and relaxed. I get to talk to my coaches as much as I want. Also, it’s cool because I get to represent my school everywhere I go, wearing my gear. Playing in the games, I wear Alabama stuff that I bought. It’s a great thing.
Q: When did you first meet Coach Saban? What was that like?
A: It was at one of the camps. It was the camp that I actually committed. It was an honor and a blessing to be able to talk to one of the best of the best. I was actually kind of nervous coming into his office. When I had walked into his office, he was the only coach who ever had a button -- he pushes the button and the door closes. That was pretty scary, but I was with my mom, so it wasn’t that bad. It was cool to be in the office with him and get to talk to him.
Q: What’s your favorite Alabama memory to this point?
A: Besides one of my favorites games, the LSU game, it was probably when [Saban] came and made a visit to my house. He came and got me and my little brother out of school, and we went back to my house. We had lunch together, and we got to sit down and talk. It was very fun to watch him talk to my little brother and stuff and have him in the living room. It was cool.
Q: What’s your goal when you get to Alabama?
A: Besides getting my degree -- that’s No. 1 off the top, to get my degree and to make my mom proud and my parents proud -- but off that, it’s just to have fun and show Alabama that I can play. I want to get my hometown out there and let all the kids know that hard work pays off, and you can do it even from where I grew up, where I came from. I also want to get to the league, and I really want to try to get first-team All-American as a freshman and just get better off of that.
Q: Do you have a favorite play or memory from high school?
A: It has to be this year, my senior year, and it was the sixth or seventh game of the year when we were playing Elkins High School, which is in the Fort Bend area. They had a top recruit at receiver going to Missouri. We had been going back and forth the whole game. It was the second quarter, and he hadn’t caught a pass the whole game. He ran a five-yard out-and-up, and I had slipped. I ran as fast as I could to get to him, I turned and as soon I looked, the ball was in the air. I jumped right in front of him and caught the pass for an interception.
Favorite food: Chinese food
Dream car: Rolls-Royce
Number at Alabama: Either 24 or 1
Favorite NFL player: Ed Reed
Dream vacation: London
Hobby: Besides working out, it’s probably eating, going out my friends and buying shoes.
Music before a game: Hip-hop (Yung Nation, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka)