Andre Smith will say this much publicly: He has submitted the paperwork to receive an evaluation of his NFL draft status.
Beyond that, Alabama’s All-American left tackle is keeping up his season-long refrain that he’s more worried about the next game than the NFL.
Smith, who won the Outland Trophy, has been projected as a potential No. 1 overall draft pick if he opts to skip his senior season.
“I’m not worried about it at all,” said Smith Thursday, the deadline to submit a request for feedback from the NFL draft advisory board.
All-America nose guard Terrence Cody, another key part of Alabama’s perfect regular season, said two weeks ago that he put the chances of returning for one more season at “like 95” percent.
It has been a whirlwind for Smith lately. He was a finalist for the Lombardi Award before claiming the Outland Trophy given to the top interior lineman in college football at an awards show on Dec. 11 in Orlando, Fla.
Smith and the Tide (12-1) began preparations Thursday for the Sugar Bowl against Utah (12-0) after enduring their first loss of the season against Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
He said underclassmen like he, Cody and All-Southeastern Conference tailback Glen Coffee aren’t talking about the NFL even to each other.
“We try not to even talk about that because it brings distraction,” Smith said. “Most of the time, we talk about what we are going to do and we don’t want to talk about that. We want to focus on Utah.”
Tide coach Nick Saban said his philosophy in advising players who are considering leaving hinges on how high they’re expected to be taken.
“If you’re going to be a first-round draft pick, you have a real consideration and certainly would have an argument for if you went out early for the draft,” Saban said.
Smith has allowed just one sack this season and seven during a career that includes 38 starts.
He was only Bama’s second Outland winner, joining fellow left tackle Chris Samuels (1999).
Asked what goals he might have remaining for a senior season, Smith didn’t hesitate.
“A championship,” he said. “We have to get one of those. I haven’t won one since middle school, so it would be great to do.”
TIDE TALK: The Tide will practice twice on Friday and work three more times before breaking Tuesday for Christmas. They gather in New Orleans on Dec. 27.