Crimson Tide player DeVonta Smith is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard did it while playing for Michigan in 1991. Smith is now Alabama's third winner of the Heisman, following running backs Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry. Smith took the honor for best player in college football over three other finalists. The list included Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, and Kyle Trask of Florida.
Smith went into Heisman season with over one hundred pass receptions and twenty touchdowns for the year. Before the winner of the Heisman Trophy was announced, Tide head Coach Nick Saban told reporters that awards aren’t everything.
“It’s always great and you always love it when you’re players get recognition. But, you know there are a lot of players on our team that have done a great job all year that are not going to receive recognition,” said Saban. “And, I think that’s a lesson in life, because sometimes you do great things in life and you don’t get recognized for it.”
Saban’s pre-Heisman reaction was similar to what he had to say following MVP honors at last Friday’s Rose Bowl against Notre Dame. Smith won the award for best offensive player after catching seven passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II won MVP honors on the defensive side. Saban told reporters before the Heisman ceremony that awards aren’t the only way players should achieve satisfaction in what they do.
“You have to kind of satisfy yourself in knowing that you did your best to be the best you can be. And, I certainly feel that the guys are up for awards and hopefully have an opportunity to win some of these awards have done just that, and you’ll be rewarded for it.”
Quarterback Mac Jones won the Johnny Unitas award this week for best college quarterback ahead of tonight’s Heisman announcement. The Crimson Tide now heads into final practice before Monday night’s college football championship game against Ohio State. Kickoff is at 7 pm CST at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where former Alabama players Tua Tagovailoa and Raekwon Davis play for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.