Canadian John Metchie III went to the University of Alabama to realize his full potential.
Head coach Nick Saban is renowned for developing talent. The Brampton native has displayed tantalizing ability in his sophomore season with the Crimson Tide.
“You just grow coming to Alabama. We practice really hard, we always practice hard, that’s where a lot of the chemistry, a lot of the bonds are built,” Metchie III said in a videoconference.
“Everyday you’re going to compete and this place is going to bring the best out of you. It’s going to force the best out of you, for you to be the best version of yourself, for you to be a competitor.”
Metchie III has played alongside the best receiver in the NCAA, DeVonta Smith. The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner has 105 receptions for 1,641 receiving yards and totaled 22 touchdowns through 12 games. While watching and learning from Smith, it was clear to Metchie III that his running mate would earn the most prestigious individual award in all of sports.
“I wasn’t surprised, I had said it long ago that Smitty’s the best player in college football this year. Seeing him win was great, I’m extremely proud of him. I hope more wideouts win in the future,” Metchie III said.
“It being somebody from Alabama, and somebody in our receiver room, especially it being more of a quarterback, running back award, I definitely hope that more wide receivers win the Heisman Trophy coming up.”
Smith is expected to be a high pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which leaves the No. 1 receiver role open in Tuscaloosa next season. Increased targets could lead to Metchie III producing video game-like numbers the way Smith did.
Metchie III has 47 receptions for 835 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games while averaging 17.7 yards per catch, which is over two full yards more than Smith this season.
“Just from day one when Metchie came in, when he was a freshman, he was always in the film room, watching extra film trying to learn defences. He’s put in the work and it’s paying off for him,” Smith said in a videoconference.
“He’s been great to this team, and great to this offence. He’s gotten more comfortable with being around here, not being from this area. He’s gotten a lot more comfortable and it’s made him develop more and become a better player.”
Currently, Metchie III and Smith are focused on earning a national title. In order to be crowned champions, Alabama will have to beat Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Final on Monday, January 11 at 8 p.m.