Saban: Andre Smith a "good guy" and player

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't want NFL types to get the wrong idea about Andre Smith.

The All-America left tackle's college career ended with a suspension, followed by a criticized decision to leave the NFL combine unannounced and the firing of his agent.

Before all that, Smith was an instant star on the field who started at left tackle since his first game as a freshman and stayed out of trouble.

Saban is one of the Outland Tropy winner's advocates.

He said Smith has good character, attitude and work ethic.

Smith is still projected as an early first-round pick, possibly going as high as No. 6 to Cincinnati.

He hired a new agent this week in Rick Smith of Priority Sports and Entertainment.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)