Days after decommitting from the Texas A&M Aggies, New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin tight end Irvin Smith has a new destination, picking the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Texas Longhorns and Memphis Tigers on National Signing Day.
Alabama and Memphis received the most recent official visits from the 6'4, 230-pounder, who took his official visit to Texas A&M back in October and his official visit to Texas in December.
Smith's ultimate choice was surprising as his 247Sport Crystal Ball predictions trended heavily in favor of the Longhorns from the middle of December through late January:
However, when Smith cancelled his in-home visit with Texas head coach Charlie Strong last Thursday, it became apparent that the Crimson Tide had passed the Longhorns.
There was a little bit of late drama, as rumors swirled that Alabama offered a late greyshirt offer to Smith, who personally refuted those rumors:
Tide TE target Irvin Smith tells me #Bama does not plan to grayshirt him. Announcing between #Alabama, #Texas and #Memphis at 3:15 p.m. CT— Hank South (@HankSouth247) February 3, 2016
Perhaps such a decision was actually in the works, but Crimson Tide tight end target Devin Asiasi committed to and signed with the Wolverines, so there didn't end up being a need to make that call.
The decision to decommit from A&M came after weeks of consideration for Smith, who started seriously looking at other schools in December. A headline from GigEm247 said it all -- "Uncertainty at A&M causing Smith to waiver." Even without pulling any of the specific information from behind the paywall, it wasn't hard to make out what the article was about and what it meant for Texas.
The departures of former five-star quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray and the "mutual" end of Jake Spavital's time as offensive coordinator in College Station only further accelerated Smith's break with the Aggies.
The December official visit Smith took with high school teammate and Texas pledge Peyton Aucoin, the blocking half of the Brother Martin tight end duo, seemed to help the Longhorns significantly and Smith's decommitment came less than 24 hours after Texas tight ends coach Jeff Traylor had his in-home visit with the 6'4, 230-pounder.
Ultimately though, it didn't matter that the Crimson Tide already have two tight end pledges in the 2016 class, will return breakout star OJ Howard, and also have a talented young player in Hale Hentges in the fold -- the depth chart wasn't an influence on Smith for his final decision.
Smith is a consensus three-star prospect ranked as the No. 523 player overall, the No. 23 tight end, and the No. 25 player in the state of Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Throughout his recruitment, he's collected nearly 30 offers.
As a senior, he caught 31 passes for 558 yards and four touchdowns.