DeVonta Smith didn’t ‘snub’ Miami visit. He just had to play a basketball game

Devonta Smith (Photo: Scout.com)

On Saturday, social media lit up with Miami Hurricanes fans upset that their school was apparently berated by a four / five-star recipient (depending on which recruiting service you read), recipient DeVonta Smith. The disappointment was understandable to a fan base who assumed they had made a very legitimate attempt to get one of the best remaining prospects in the 2017 class.

There was only one problem: Smith didn’t abuse Miami. He did his duty to his current school by participating in a basketball game.

Such is the dual sports life of a high school star. Unfortunately, Miami fans apparently didn’t pay attention to the fact that Smith is also a passionate longtime basketball player who is one of the stars of Amite. The engagement of the U.S. Army All American and the former Georgia has helped Amite close a deficit in the first half of the year, with a sharp spike in the second half, to surpass Independence for the second time in the 2016-17 season.

Some Miami fan blogs have already called Smith for not bothering to make the trip on Saturday as the game ended on Friday night. That may be a fair assessment, although it is nowhere near as easy as some would like it to be. Only American Airlines flies non-stop from New Orleans to Miami, which requires a trip from Amite at the front end and as such would likely mean arriving at Coral Gables by late afternoon on Saturday at the earliest. That gives Smith a total of 24 hours, if so, on campus, and that assumes he hasn’t planned any further basketball practice during the trip.

Does this make it more likely that he will choose Miami on National Signing Day? No, it doesn’t, but it is a legitimate justification not to make a recruiting visit, contrary to the deliberate dislike painted by some Miami fans and the media. Give the kid a chance, and if he still decides he doesn’t want to come, then it wasn’t in the cards.

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