DeVonta Smith snags the Heisman Trophy


DeVonta Smith celebrates after scoring. Photo via Alabama Football Instagram.

After a remarkable senior season at the University of Alabama, DeVonta Smith secured the Heisman Trophy. He became the third Heisman winner from the Crimson Tide, alongside Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry. Smith is the first wide receiver to receive this trophy since 1991, and becomes the fourth receiver in Heisman history.

DeVonta Smith posted an FBS record of 1,511 receiving yards and 98 receptions in just 11 games during the 2020 season (excluding the College Football Playoff). He caught 17 touchdown passes from fellow Heisman finalist and teammate, Mac Jones. The other finalists were Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and Kyle Trask of Florida. Smith received 1,856 votes, Lawrence received 1,187, Jones received 1,130, and Trask received 737. The duo of Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith is just the sixth pair of teammates to ever finish among the top three in Heisman voting.

Smith shows off his new hardware. Photo via Alabama Football Instagram.

During the virtual ceremony, Smith called the award a blessing. He thanked his parents, coaches, and teammates during his speech. He talked about the power of self-belief and reflected on coming from his small hometown of Amite, Louisiana, and how he was doubted because of his size. Though he stands 6’1” and 175 lbs, he looks to have minimal muscle, which can become a struggle as many receivers must dominate their opponent in not only size but gameplay as well. Smith makes up for his lack of size with his all around excellence at his position. He set an SEC record for career touchdowns as well as an Alabama record for career receiving yards. He was also recently named The Associated Press Player of the Year, becoming the first receiver to win the award.

Smith’s journey to winning the Heisman was not an easy one, and no one saw it coming. As a freshman, Smith achieved national recognition when he caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the 2018 National Championship Game against Georgia. This iconic play could have defined his career, but he shied away from reliving it whenever it was brought up. However, as a sophomore, injuries stalled his progress on the field, and he was overshadowed by his teammates Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. Despite scoring 14 touchdowns as a junior, Smith was still under the radar. As his teammates Jeudy and Ruggs departed for the NFL, it was Smith and Waddle’s time to shine. Only four games into the season, Waddle suffered a potential season ending injury, propelling DeVonta Smith to the forefront of the receiving core. Smith is listed on nearly all NFL Mock Drafts as the #1 ranked receiver in the entire draft class.