Alabama’s DeVonta Smith wins the 86th Heisman Trophy

Sports

NEW YORK (WIAT) — Alabama’s DeVonta Smith has won the Heisman Trophy, ousting teammate Mac Jones, Florida’s Kyle Trask and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.

The 86th Heisman Trophy was handed out in a virtual event Tuesday evening.

The award has been handed down to the top college football player every year since 1935. From the first award going to Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago to the latest trophy being given to LSU’s Joe Burrow in 2019, the award honors the sport’s very best.

This year was no exception. From a pair of All-American Alabama teammates, to a former backup quarterback turned Florida record-breaker, to the long-haired golden boy who only seems to win, the field was packed with talent.

Along with running backs Marck Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015), Smith is now the third Alabama player to win the Heisman. He was also named a first-team All-American and was the Associated Press’ Player of the Year, the first receiver to do so.

The senior has had an incredible season, leading the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and a spot in the College Football Playoff National Championship. He has 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 22 total touchdowns.

Smith is only the fourth wide receiver to claim the Heisman since it was first handed out in 1935, joining the ranks of notable past winners like Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers (1972) Notre Dame’s Tim Brown (1987) and Michigan’s Desmond Howard (1991).

Smith now leads the Crimson Tide in an attempt to win a national championship. They take on the Ohio State Buckeyes for all the marbles on Jan. 11.

The field for the award was as stacked as ever before.

  • Florida quarterback Kyle Trask- Trask began his career as a backup to Felipe Franks, but in 2019 got his chance after an injury to Franks and hasn’t looked back since. This season, he led the Gators to an 8-4 record, an SEC East Division title and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl. While Florida was manhandled in the final game against Oklahoma, Trask still put up incredible numbers this season. He finished with 4,283 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 180. Trask led the nation in yards thrown, completions and touchdowns. He also broke Florida’s record for most touchdown passes in a single season, which was previously held by Danny Wuerffel, who won the Heisman in 1996. Trask would be the fourth Gator to win the award, joining Wuerffel, Tim Tebow and Steve Spurrier.
  • Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence- Despite being one of the most successful and celebrated college quarterbacks in recent memory, this is the first time Lawrence has been named a Heisman finalist. Since his arrival at Clemson, the Tigers are 35-2 in games he’s started. A more impressive stat would be that he’s led the team to the College Football Playoff every single year, making it to the national championship in 2018 and 2019. The Tigers fell just short this season, losing to Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against the Ohio State Buckeyes. While some say this has been a down year for Lawrence, that’s only due to how great he’s been in the past. In 2020, he threw for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns. He missed two games due to COVID-19 this season as well. Whether Lawrence wins the Heisman tonight or not, he is still highly regarded as the future No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. If he wins, Lawrence would be the first in Clemon’s history.
  • Alabama quarterback Mac Jones- When former Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down with an injury last season, Jones was brought in and performed well enough to earn the starting job for this season. While he has enormous shoes to fill, he may have overfilled them in 2020. Jones was not only named first-team All-American over Trask and Lawrence, but he also won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the best college quarterback. He leads the nation in completion percentage (77.0), passer rating (203.3) and QBR (95.8). He has also thrown for 4,036 yards and 36 touchdowns. The junior has also led the Crimson Tide to the CFP National Championship. He outdueled Trask in the SEC Championship Game and threw four touchdowns to beat Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl. If Jones takes home the hardware, he will be the third Alabama player to win, joining Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry.
  • Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith– Smith is the ultimate game-changer. In all but two games this season, he has accounted for a touchdown. And in seven games, he has multiple. The highest-scoring team in the country just so happens to have two Heisman finalists and five All-Americans, but it’s Smith who stands out the brightest. He has 105 receptions for 1,641 yards and 22 total touchdowns this season, helping the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season. Those four touchdowns Jones threw in the Rose Ball, three of them went Smith’s direction. He was named the AP College Football Player of the Year, the first receiver to do so. The award usually translates to winning the Heisman, 17 of the last 22 to be exact. But two of the times they didn’t involve the only Crimson Tide players who won the Heisman. If Smith hears his name called tonight, we would become only the fourth wide receiver to win the award, joining Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers (1972), Notre Dame’s Tim Brown (1987) and Michigan’s Desmond Howard (1991).

As of Tuesday, Smith was a -560 favorite to take home the Heisman, according to DraftKings. Jones had +500 odds to win. Lawrence is in third with +750 odds and Trask is fourth with +5,000 odds.

The presentation of the award will be live on ESPN starting at 6 p.m. CT. CBS 42 will stream a “Celebrating the Heisman” special show in the player above at 7 p.m. CT.


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