What Alabama football's John Metchie III learned from Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith

Claire Kuwana
The Tuscaloosa News

HOOVER, Ala. — When Alabama football receiver Jaylen Waddle suffered an injury last season, then-sophomore John Metchie III was forced to step up and into one of the main receiving slots for the Crimson Tide. 

Metchie played alongside Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and was able to learn off his technique, especially as far as "minor little details," things only receivers work on or really notice, Metchie III said at 2021 SEC Media Days on Wednesday. 

RECOGNITION:Alabama football receiver John Metchie III named top Canadian in college football

ANALYSIS:5 things we learned about Alabama football at SEC Media Days 2021

TOPPMEYER:Hey, Nick Saban, is it OK if I call you Nick?

But the most valuable takeaways, he said, came from just being Smith's teammate and observing him off the field.

"Biggest thing was just worth ethic, bringing in your best self day in and day out and just being consistent," Metchie III said. 

Metchie III exploded into the national college football scene after he delivered a standout performance against Texas A&M last season. With Waddle's injury expanding his role, Metchie totaled 916 yards and six touchdowns on 55 catches. 

Metchie III continues to take after Smith and stress the importance of his mindset. He said part of why he is such a solid and tough receiver is his competitiveness and ability to put his mind to something and do it.

With Alabama, the team's expectations are always high, and sights are set on another national championship. The question remains of whether Metchie III can take what he learned from Smith and help his team to back-to-back titles. 

Claire Kuwana is a sports reporting intern at the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Contact her at claire.kuwana@commercialappeal.com or follow her on Twitter @clairekuwana.