Alabama defensive lineman transfers to Gophers

O.J. Smith won’t be eligible for the Gophers until 2018.

by Drew Cove

Filling a future need, a defensive tackle has transferred to Minnesota.

Former Alabama defensive tackle O.J. Smith announced he has transferred to the University of Minnesota on Twitter Thursday.

Smith won’t be eligible for the Gophers until the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

“I Am Officially Family Of The University Of [Minnesota.] Ready to work!” Smith posted on Twitter Thursday morning.

Smith only played two games over the course of two seasons at Alabama, and he recorded two tackles in those games.

“I want to thank [Alabama head coach Nick] Saban and his whole staff for helping me get better everyday.” Smith said via Instagram on June 7th announcing his decision to leave Alabama.

The native of Bossier City, Louisiana committed to Alabama in 2013 as a three-star recruit, then he spent two years with the Crimson Tide until last season.

Smith announced that he would transfer from the Crimson Tide in June, and made a visit to Minnesota on July 25. He officially announced his transfer school two days later.

In 2018, he can prove to be an asset as the third incoming defensive tackle to the team alongside three-star recruits Elijah Teague and Logan Richter, while three senior defensive linemen will depart after the 2017 season.

Smith joins a Minnesota defense that ranked second best in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed and second to last in passing yards conceded. The Gophers finished 9-4 last season, defeating Washington State in the Holiday Bowl.