Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy on Tuesday night. He will also be leading the Crimson Tide in the National Championship game next week. Smith is just the third player from Alabama to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Mark Ingram was the first in 2009 and Derrick Henry was the second in 2015. Jones is the first receiver to take home the most coveted award in college football since Desmond Howard in 1991. DeVonta Smith wins the Heisman Trophy, before this season who would’ve thought?
Clemson quarterback finished second, but Smith had nearly 700 more points in the voting.
DeVonta Smith Wins The Heisman Trophy: The Journey
It is strange to think that just two years ago Smith was a wide-eyed freshman winning the National Championship catching a pass from Tua Tagovailoa in a crisis situation. After a junior season that saw Smith have 68 receptions for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns, he surprised many by returning for his senior season. Alabama missed the playoffs in 2019 for the first time since its inception. Smith was poised to lead the Tide back to the playoffs this year. He’s done exactly that with Alabama in the National Championship game against Ohio State on January 11th.
Smith is the consummate professional still in his senior season as he is still focusing on a championship and not the Heisman Trophy. When asked about the award, he mentioned that “Right now I’m not really worried about the Heisman Trophy. I’m just trying to come in with the team this weekend, just look forward to getting on the game plan for Ohio State.” And, he’s a huge reason why Alabama is back in a familiar position.
The 2020 Season
It was a long summer as Smith and Jaylen Waddle were the 1-2 punch for Alabama’s passing attack. However, Waddle suffered a broken ankle and Smith was the clear number one target. Looking at the Alabama roster it wasn’t difficult to see that Smith would likely succeed. The offense has Najee Harris at running back and fellow Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones at quarterback.
Smith became the first AP Player of the Year as a receiver since its inception in 1998. He tied the single-season record for receiving touchdowns in a season with 20. Through 12 games this season, including the SEC Championship and the Rose Bowl, Smith has 105 receptions for 1,641 yards. Even as a receiver, it’s clear to see Smith is the best player in the country and a deserving Heisman Trophy winner.
After the ceremony, Smith told the media that his size, or lack of it, gave him a mental edge, saying he wanted to show everyone that he, “Was not someone everyone could bully.”
Smith said it is important to finish the job with his legacy to win Monday night in the national championship game. “The two reasons I came back were to get my degree and to win another national championship.
He said he felt, “relieved,” that the award was over so that he can concentrate on the title game.
Smith on being only the third Alabama player to win the Heisman. “It is a blessing. Those guys set the standard.” Smith said he hoped he was now setting a standard for others to follow. He called the punt return for a score against Arkansas as his big moment for the season. “I wanted to show that I could impact a game not just as a receiver.” He added, “It means a lot to just to be one of the few receivers that won. That means a lot to me.”
Smith won the voting totals in each of the six regions. He finished with 447 first place votes compared to Lawrence’s 222 first place votes. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones finished third in the voting. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was fourth.