Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith becomes first WR to win AP player of the year

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith was voted the Associated Press college football player of the year, it was announced Tuesday, making him the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Smith received 26 first-place votes and totaled 114 points, outscoring his teammate, quarterback Mac Jones, who received nine first-place votes and 67 total points. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was third with nine first-place votes and 49 points.

Smith, a senior, also became the first Alabama player to win the AP award. He led the country in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,151) and yards after the catch (768) for the No. 1 Crimson Tide, who will meet No. 4 Notre Dame in a College Football Playoff semifinal game Friday in Arlington, Texas.

By receiving the AP award, Smith becomes the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Jan. 5. Nine of the past 10 winners of the AP POY award has also won the Heisman. The only exception was in 2015, when Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey won the AP award but Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman.

Smith, Jones, Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who finished fourth in the AP voting with three first-place votes and 44 points, are the Heisman finalists. The AP award winner has also won the Heisman 17 of 22 times.

Two players received one first-place vote each and tied for sixth place with three points for the AP award — Clemson running back Travis Etienne and North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts finished fifth with five points but no first-place votes.

In becoming the first wide receiver in the 23 years of the award, Smith joins 17 quarterbacks, four running backs, and one defensive lineman (Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, 2009).

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith becomes first WR to win AP player of the year

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith was voted the Associated Press college football player of the year, it was announced Tuesday, making him the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Smith received 26 first-place votes and totaled 114 points, outscoring his teammate, quarterback Mac Jones, who received nine first-place votes and 67 total points. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was third with nine first-place votes and 49 points.

Smith, a senior, also became the first Alabama player to win the AP award. He led the country in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,151) and yards after the catch (768) for the No. 1 Crimson Tide, who will meet No. 4 Notre Dame in a College Football Playoff semifinal game Friday in Arlington, Texas.

By receiving the AP award, Smith becomes the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Jan. 5. Nine of the past 10 winners of the AP POY award has also won the Heisman. The only exception was in 2015, when Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey won the AP award but Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman.

Smith, Jones, Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who finished fourth in the AP voting with three first-place votes and 44 points, are the Heisman finalists. The AP award winner has also won the Heisman 17 of 22 times.

Two players received one first-place vote each and tied for sixth place with three points for the AP award — Clemson running back Travis Etienne and North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts finished fifth with five points but no first-place votes.

In becoming the first wide receiver in the 23 years of the award, Smith joins 17 quarterbacks, four running backs, and one defensive lineman (Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, 2009).

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith becomes first WR to win AP player of the year

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith was voted the Associated Press college football player of the year, it was announced Tuesday, making him the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Smith received 26 first-place votes and totaled 114 points, outscoring his teammate, quarterback Mac Jones, who received nine first-place votes and 67 total points. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was third with nine first-place votes and 49 points.

Smith, a senior, also became the first Alabama player to win the AP award. He led the country in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,151) and yards after the catch (768) for the No. 1 Crimson Tide, who will meet No. 4 Notre Dame in a College Football Playoff semifinal game Friday in Arlington, Texas.

By receiving the AP award, Smith becomes the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Jan. 5. Nine of the past 10 winners of the AP POY award has also won the Heisman. The only exception was in 2015, when Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey won the AP award but Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman.

Smith, Jones, Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who finished fourth in the AP voting with three first-place votes and 44 points, are the Heisman finalists. The AP award winner has also won the Heisman 17 of 22 times.

Two players received one first-place vote each and tied for sixth place with three points for the AP award — Clemson running back Travis Etienne and North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts finished fifth with five points but no first-place votes.

In becoming the first wide receiver in the 23 years of the award, Smith joins 17 quarterbacks, four running backs, and one defensive lineman (Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, 2009).

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith becomes first WR to win AP player of the year

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith was voted the Associated Press college football player of the year, it was announced Tuesday, making him the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998.

Smith received 26 first-place votes and totaled 114 points, outscoring his teammate, quarterback Mac Jones, who received nine first-place votes and 67 total points. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was third with nine first-place votes and 49 points.

Smith, a senior, also became the first Alabama player to win the AP award. He led the country in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,151) and yards after the catch (768) for the No. 1 Crimson Tide, who will meet No. 4 Notre Dame in a College Football Playoff semifinal game Friday in Arlington, Texas.

By receiving the AP award, Smith becomes the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Jan. 5. Nine of the past 10 winners of the AP POY award has also won the Heisman. The only exception was in 2015, when Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey won the AP award but Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the Heisman.

Smith, Jones, Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who finished fourth in the AP voting with three first-place votes and 44 points, are the Heisman finalists. The AP award winner has also won the Heisman 17 of 22 times.

Two players received one first-place vote each and tied for sixth place with three points for the AP award — Clemson running back Travis Etienne and North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts finished fifth with five points but no first-place votes.

In becoming the first wide receiver in the 23 years of the award, Smith joins 17 quarterbacks, four running backs, and one defensive lineman (Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, 2009).

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Jones, Clemson’s Lawrence among Heisman finalists

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask were named finalists for the 2020 Heisman Trophy, the Heisman Trust announced on Thursday night.

The field of 10 was narrowed to four, with the winner to be announced on Jan. 5 during a virtual ceremony on ESPN.

Alabama running back Najee Harris placed fifth in the voting, ahead of Iowa State running back Breece Hall and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson placed eighth, followed by Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who became the first player at his position to finish in the top 10 in the Heisman vote since 1977. Pitts had 770 yards and 12 touchdowns receiving in just eight games this season.

Jones has thrown for 3,739 yards, second highest nationally, with 32 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has completed 76.5 percent of his passes, and would become just the third Alabama player and first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the award.

Smith is tops nationally in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,511) and yards after the catch (768) while ranking second in receiving touchdowns (17) and receiving yards per game (137.4). He is vying to become the first receiver to win the award since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991 and the first non-quarterback to claim it since former Alabama running back Derrick Henry took it home in 2015.

Lawrence could become Clemson’s first Heisman Trophy winner. He has thrown for 2.753 yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions despite missing two games after testing positive for COVID-19. He has gone 34-1 as a starter with three ACC titles, a national championship and a runner-up finish. The highest Heisman voting finish for a Clemson player was by Deshaun Watson, who was a finalist twice and the runner-up in 2016.

Trask leads nationally in total touchdowns (46), touchdown passes (43), passing yards (4,125) and passing yards per game (375) in 11 games. He also is the only Southeastern Conference quarterback ever to throw for at least 400 yards five times in a season. His 46 touchdowns are second only to Tim Tebow’s 55, which he posted during his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2007. Trask is seeking to become the fourth Gator quarterback to win the Heisman, also joining Danny Wuerffel in 1996 and Steve Spurrier in 1966.

Jones and Smith will lead top-ranked Alabama against No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, while Lawrence and the No. 2 Tigers will face No. 3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, also on Jan. 1. Trask and the No. 7 Gators face No. 6 Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 30.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith could be first WR to win Heisman in 29 years

DeVonta Smith’s career-best game on a prime-time stage is likely to earn the Alabama star a piece of history.

Smith caught 15 passes for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Saturday’s 52-46 victory over Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Smith threw five touchdown passes, but that wasn’t enough to hold off his teammate as the new favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.

Smith is now being offered at -200 by SportsBetting.com and -170 by FanDuel to win the Heisman. That is ahead of Jones, who is +150 and +170, respectfully.

It has been a meteoric rise for Smith, who wasn’t even on the Heisman prop board at most sportsbooks just two weeks ago.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit endorsed Smith as his Heisman pick on “College Gameday,” hours before the senior returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown in Alabama’s 52-3 rout of Arkansas on Dec.12. That helped vault Smith to second favorite status behind Jones at several sportsbooks, and that momentum continued with his massive game against the Gators.

Smith has double-digit receptions in four games this season and a total of 98 catches for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has another score on three carries to go with the punt-return touchdown.

If Smith wins the Heisman, he will become the first non-quarterback to do so since Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry in 2015, and the first wide receiver since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.

Smith has also benefitted from the lack of a runaway quarterback candidate.

Jones took over as the favorite just last week after Florida’s Kyle Trask suffered his second loss of the season.

Preseason favorite Trevor Lawrence saw his Heisman Trophy hopes scuttled by a positive COVID-19 test that forced him to sit out two games. Lawrence led Clemson to the ACC title and the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, but he is a distant third in the Heisman odds at +1000 by SportsBetting.com and +1500 by FanDuel.

Heisman Trophy odds (SportsBetting.com)
DeVonta Smith -200 (1/2)
Mac Jones +150 (3/2)
Trevor Lawrence +1000 (10/1)
Najee Harris +1600 (16/1)
Kyle Trask +2500 (25/1)

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith has also elevated himself into consideration to be the first wide receiver selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is expected to compete for that honor with injured teammate Jaylen Waddle and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) celebrate a touchdown pass from Jones to Smith at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the second half of Alabama's 41-0 win over Mississippi State. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

Alabama WR DeVonta Smith vaults into Heisman contention

DeVonta Smith wasn’t even on the board of players being offered Heisman Trophy odds at most sportsbooks a week ago.

Another dynamic outing later — along with some national publicity love from Kirk Herbstreit — and Alabama’s senior receiver is suddenly one of the Heisman favorites.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has been the betting favorite by most sportsbooks for the past several weeks, but his hopes took a serious hit with the Gators losing their second game of the season last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Alabama improved to 10-0 with a 52-3 rout of Arkansas.

Quarterback Mac Jones threw for 208 yards on 24 of 29 passing. Three of those completions went to Smith, who scored the Crimson Tide’s first touchdown on an 84-yard punt return.

Jones is now widely considered the Heisman Trophy favorite. He’s being offered at -160 by FanDuel, -200 by DraftKings and -210 by William Hill. Several other regulated sportsbooks have taken Heisman odds off their markets.

Those who are still offering them now have Smith as the second favorite.

Smith’s sudden rise also followed an endorsement from ESPN’s Herbstreit on “College Gameday” before the Arkansas rout.

“I think DeVonta Smith right now, I don’t know if he’s (No. 1 or 2) but he’s right there,” Herbstreit said. “I want to see how things go next weekend in Atlanta (in the SEC Championship Game).

“This is an offense that lost (Jerry) Jeudy and (Henry) Ruggs a year ago (and) (Jaylen) Waddle during the Tennessee game, and he just keeps getting better and better. (Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian) and Mac Jones get all the recognition, but my man DeVonta Smith is having the best year in the country as far as I’m concerned.”

Smith now has 83 receptions for 1,327 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, all career highs.

He is being offered at +200 by DraftKings and FanDuel and +250 by William Hill. That’s ahead of Trask at all three – +350 by DraftKings and William Hill and +800 by FanDuel.

Preseason Heisman favorite Trevor Lawrence is fourth at each of the three sportsbooks, with his hopes largely dashed after missing two games following a positive COVID-19 test.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) makes a catch for a touchdown at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the second half of Alabama's 41-0 win over Mississippi State. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Smith sets SEC touchdown catches mark

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith caught his 32nd career touchdown pass on Saturday to set the Southeastern Conference record for receiving scores.

The record-setter came with 10:12 left in the second quarter against Kentucky when he caught a 10-yard pass from Mac Jones. It was his ninth touchdown of the season.

Smith, a senior, surpassed former Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper (2012-14) and Florida’s Chris Doering (1992-95) for the record.

Earlier this season, Smith caught four touchdown passes against Mississippi State, making him the only receiver in SEC history with multiple career games with four or more touchdown catches.

Smith caught the game-winning pass from Tua Tagovailoa – a 41-yard throw in overtime – as the Crimson Tide beat Georgia to win the College Football Playoff championship game in January 2018.

Entering Saturday’s game, Smith had 174 career receptions for 2,868 yards in 47 games for the Crimson Tide.

Jarett Dillard, who played at Rice from 2005-08, holds the NCAA record for career touchdown receptions with 60.

–Field Level Media