On an Alabama workforce stacked with stars, DeVonta Smith emerged because the greatest participant in school soccer. Smith turned the primary broad receiver to win the in 29 seasons on Tuesday evening, breaking the monopoly quarterbacks have had on school soccer‘s most prestigious award by beating out three of them.
“I need to thank my teammates,” Smith mentioned throughout his acceptance speech. “With workforce success comes particular person success so with out you all, I would not be the place I am at at the moment, profitable this award.”
Smith completed with 447 first-place votes and 1,856 factors to simply outdistance Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (222, 1,187), Alabama teammate Mac Jones (138, 1,130) and Florida’s Kyle Trask (61, 737).
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 received 17 of the earlier 20 Heisman trophies, together with the final 4.
DeVonta 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 really feel good approximately it with a superb three-touchdown recreation in opposition to Notre Dame within the CFP semifinals final weekend.
Smith has 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 22 complete touchdowns going into the ultimate recreation of his school profession — which may also be his third nationwide championship recreation.
Smith carved out a spot in Alabama’s storied historical past as a freshman, catching the profitable 41-yard landing move from Tua Tagovailoa in additional time in opposition to Georgia to present the Tide the 2017 nationwide championship.
For the following two seasons, DeVonta Smith was nonetheless typically the missed star within the Tide’s proficient 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 yr. 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 in opposition to Mississippi State.
Smith’s hovering one-handed TD seize in opposition to LSU was not simply his signature play, however one of many 2020 season’s greatest.
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 profitable 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 DeVonta Smith quietly led the Tide in receptions and yards final yr 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.