On an Alabama team stacked with stars, DeVonta Smith emerged because the best player in college football. Smith grew to become the primary vast receiver to win the in 29 seasons on Tuesday night time, breaking the monopoly quarterbacks have had on faculty soccer’s most prestigious award by beating out three of them.
“I need to thank my teammates,” Smith mentioned throughout his acceptance speech. “With crew success comes particular person success so with out you all, I would not be the place I am at right this moment, successful this award.”
The Crimson Tide senior is the fourth receiver to win the Heisman, becoming a member of Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991, Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987 and Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers in 1972.
Quarterbacks had gained 17 of the earlier 20 Heisman trophies, together with the final 4.
Smith is the third Alabama participant to win the Heisman, all since 2009. Like Tide working backs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015), Smith will play within the nationwide championship recreation as a Heisman winner.
No. 1 Alabama faces No. 3 Ohio State on Jan. 11 within the School Soccer Playoff title recreation in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The Heisman voting was full on December 21, so playoff performances weren’t an element. However Smith made those that supported him be ok with it with a superb three-touchdown recreation towards Notre Dame within the CFP semifinals final weekend.
Smith has 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 22 whole touchdowns going into the ultimate recreation of his faculty profession — which may even be his third nationwide championship recreation.
Smith carved out a spot in Alabama’s storied historical past as a freshman, catching the successful 41-yard landing cross from Tua Tagovailoa in additional time towards Georgia to provide the Tide the 2017 nationwide championship.
For the following two seasons, Smith was nonetheless typically the ignored star within the Tide’s gifted 2017 class of receivers that included All-American Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. Each of these gamers determined to skip their senior seasons and enter the draft final 12 months. Each have been chosen within the first spherical.
Smith returned to highschool to finish his diploma and type an explosive mixture for the Tide with junior Jaylen Waddle. Then Waddle went down with a season-ending leg damage on October 24.
Because the Tide’s undisputed No. 1 receiver, Smith shined. The week after Waddle went out, Smith had 11 catches for 204 yards and 4 touchdowns towards Mississippi State.
Smith’s hovering one-handed TD seize towards LSU was not simply his signature play, however one of many 2020 season’s finest.
A former four-star recruit from Amite, Louisiana, Smith got here to Tuscaloosa from LSU’s yard, disappointing the various Tigers followers in his hometown.
He had solely seven receptions as a freshman, and whereas he scored the successful landing within the nationwide title recreation, the story of the sport was the man who threw it.
Tagovailoa was Alabama’s Heisman contender for the following two years.
The understated Smith quietly led the Tide in receptions and yards final 12 months as a junior and have become a second-team All-American.
Smitty — as teammates and coaches name him — did not emerge as a Hesiman contender this season till Waddle went down.
Beginning with that Mississippi State recreation, Smith went on a four-game tear with 35 catches for 749 yards and 11 touchdowns that solidified one other nickname for the 6-foot-1, 175-pound technician: the Slim Reaper.