Image provided by Alabama Athletics
DeVonta Smith of Alabama was selected as the 86th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy as the Outstanding College Football Player in the United States for 2020.
The victory for the 6’1”, 175-pound Smith represents the third winner from Alabama, joining Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015). He is the 4th wide receiver to win the Heisman and the first since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991.
Smith, of Amite, LA caught 105 passes for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns including a tremendous performance in the College Football Playoff Semi-Final catching 7 passes for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. His career receiving yards of 3,260 is highest in Alabama history. Smith also holds the SEC career record for receiving touchdowns with 40, passing the previous mark of 31 held by Amari Cooper and Chris Doering. He also owns a four- and five-touchdown game making him the only receiver in SEC history with multiple career games totaling four or more receiving touchdowns. Smith leads the FBS in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Last week, he was awarded the Associated Press college football player of the year.
Smith polled 1,856 points to capture the award over Trevor Lawrence of Clemson (1,187 points), Mac Jones (1,130 points) also of Alabama and Kyle Trask (737 points) of Florida. The point total is reached by a system of three points for a first place vote, two for second and one for third.
Photo Credits: Kent Gidley
Q. Devonta, when did you start to envision that maybe there's a possibility that you could win this award?
DEVONTA SMITH: Honestly, I never just have thought about it for real. I've had conversations, seen people send me things about it and I kind of brushed it off, but I honestly I never sat up there and honestly just thought about I could possibly win it.
World Exposure Report Donnie Woods: Devonta, growing up outside of Butler Town Park, what does this mean to you, your family and your neighborhood? And then also on top of that, what drove you to be the best receiver to ever play at Alabama?
DEVONTA SMITH: Really just everything that I've been doing since I was little, just seeing people at the park just playing basketball and football, just me just going out there wanting to play with them. And just if I'm going to come here to play receiver and play football, I mean, why not want to be the best at doing it? : It means a lot. Just the place where I come from, small place, not a lot of people know about it. Just someone giving their kids something, someone to look up to and laying the blueprint out for everybody that's coming up after me.
Q. You're only the third player to win the Heisman Trophy for the University of Alabama. What does it mean to you to be enshrined in history as one of the most important players in the history of the storied franchise that is Alabama football?
DEVONTA SMITH: It's a blessing. Those guys set a standard, and I'm just excited that I got a chance to come here and try to play to that standard and set the standard for everybody else that's coming after me.
DeVonta Smith Heisman Trophy Acceptance Speech
DEVONTA SMITH: First off, I would like to thank God. Without him, none of this would be possible. I congratulate all the finalists. Just to be in this situation with you guys, y'all are great athletes, and just to be a part of something like this is truly a blessing. I want to thank my family, my mom, my dad, just everything that y'all taught me to mold me into the young man I am today. I want to thank my mentor, Vincent Sanders. Without you I wouldn't be where I am today, just from the rise to taking me places that I want to visit, just to doing things and just helping me get to where I am. I want to thank Coach Saban for giving me the opportunity to come play at the University of Alabama. I thank Coach Wiggins, my receiver coach, just for helping me day in and day out, watching film, making me a better player. I thank my teammates. With team success comes individual success, so without y'all, I wouldn't be where I am today, winning this award. And just to all the young kids out there that's not the biggest, not the strongest, just keep pushing because I'm not the biggest. I've been doubted a lot just because of my size, and really it just comes down to you put your mind to it, you can do it. No job is too big. If you put your mind to it, you can do it, and just keep believing in God, and you'll get where you want to be. I would like to thank Jeff Allen and the athletic training staff here for giving me all the resources to continue playing this game, to keeping me healthy so I can go out there and do the things that I like to do. I thank our president Dr. Bill and our athletic director Mr. Byrne just for being here and making everything possible with COVID going on and giving us a chance to play this season. Thank you. Roll tide!
Q. You were maybe about 160 pounds or so when you showed up at the campus of Tuscaloosa, so to all those who have been told you're not quite this, you're not quite that, it's not a journey from Amite to Heisman Trophy winner.
DEVONTA SMITH: It's just unbelievable, just coming from a small place like that. You just really have to work day in and day out and just believe in yourself, and if don't nobody else believe you, you just have to believe in yourself and just prove everybody wrong.
Q. You also talked today about the power of the collective. You get to that school and it's wide receiver, you; you've got Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. The wide receiver room is unbelievable. Talk about how you guys pushed each other and how those mentors helped you get here to this moment.
DEVONTA SMITH: It's just a family. Just when you got here, everyone was on the same mission to become the best player that they can be and everybody helped each other in a different way, and just being around those guys, they've taught me so much just from things on the field to off the field, and they've just guided me to where I am today, and I'm so thankful for them.
Q. To all the folks from Amite, you paid tribute to them. Some of those folks were probably mad when you didn't choose LSU. Your high school colors and the uniforms look just like the Bayou Bengals, but you also thanked them for their support. What does it mean to have all those folks gather to be able to share long distance in this moment with you?
DEVONTA SMITH: It means a lot. Just some of those people have seen me since I was a little kid playing youth football, youth basketball, just seeing me come up, and just they've been there every step of the way, even when I decided to come here. Some of them, they still decided to just follow my journey and just be there with me every step of the way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Information provided by the Heisman Trust