Sanders is Smith's mentor - and his barber since he was a toddler, 2 or 3 years of age.
Smith's grandfather and Sanders' father were best friends, according to GQ Magazine.
"I want to thank my mentor, Vincent Sanders. Without you I wouldn't be where I am today," Smith said on the night he won the trophy for most outstanding player in college football.
After the Eagles selected Smith No. 10 overall, ABC aired a video showcasing the connection between the Alabama wide receiver and his mentor-barber.
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"When I was young, I went to another barber and it did not turn out so well," Smith said. "That's when I knew I'll never let nobody else cut my hair."
Sanders said the two share a bond.
"It's just me bringing back home to him wherever he's at," Sanders said.
Sanders made the five-hour trip from their hometown of Amite, Louisiana to Tuscaloosa every few weeks while Smith was in college.
"Yeah, I'm gonna give him a haircut, but it's more; we just joke and talk about life away from football," Vincent said. "Just having fun."
In the GQ article, Sanders told the magazine he didn't let Smith quit football after the teen broke his collarbone during his sophomore year of high school.
"Nah, bro," Sanders told Smith at the time. "We can do this. I'm gonna make you great."
GQ wrote: "Sanders was as much DeVonta's family as anyone else."
In the ABC video, Smith acknowledged Sanders has been there for him every step of the way.
"And he's still here now. I know if there's anything I need, he's there," Smith said. "Barber for life. When he stops cutting my hair is when I get a bald head."