Alabama Football: Another Heisman case for Devonta Smith

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Choosing anyone but Alabama football WR Devonta Smith for College Football’s top award would be a miscarriage of justice.

Several weeks ago, when I thought the LSU game would not be rescheduled, I bought tickets to a local wrestling show because if there was one Alabama football game I was ok with missing, it was the Arkansas game. So, when the LSU game was rescheduled to that night I was disappointed that I would not be able to watch at home. If there was one game I didn’t want to miss this year, even more than the Iron Bowl, it was the LSU game.

So, I did what any longtime fan would do and streamed the game on my phone at the show. No disrespect intended to New South Professional Wrestling, but even when former WWE Superstar Rhyno showed up as a surprise guest I barely took my eyes off the screen. The Crimson Tide was in the middle of one of the sweetest beatdowns in recent memory.

The main reason the LSU game was must-see TV (if you are a fan of Alabama football that is) was Devonta Smith. His performance in the first half of that game was one of the most masterful performances I have ever witnessed from a player wearing Crimson and White. Most of the time he was being guarded by one of the best cover corners in college football, Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley might as well been a local player LSU found on the way to the game.

Smitty whipped him up and down the field for the entire first half to the tune of 219 receiving yards and 3 TDs. He could have done it for the entire game if he wanted to, but Nick Saban slowed things down dramatically in the second half.

Not every catch was on Stingley, but the one everybody will remember was.

And this might not even be Devonta’s best catch of the season. He has been toe-tapping all over defenses since week one.

The stats don’t lie.

Alabama Football
Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

Through nine games Devonta ranks:

  • First in yards (1305)
  • Second in YPG (145.0)
  • Second in receptions (80)
  • First (tied) in TDs (15)
  • 69th in YPC (16.31) *More information on this one below

(All stats through NCAA)

It is easy to see that Devonta is statistically the best receiver in the nation. The only other receiver that even comes close statistically is Elijah Moore from Ole Miss, but he has half as many TDs. And that weird yards per reception stat? Devonta is ranked so low because the stat includes all guys who have played anywhere from 2-11 games and have anywhere from 1-86 catches.

If you only count guys that have played 8+ games and have 50+ catches, Devonta would be seventh in the nation in YPC. Of the six guys above him, none have more than 70 catches and only two have over 1,000 yards.

All of this while Alabama football opponents are double teaming him on nearly every snap. People thought when Waddle went down Devonta’s stats would regress. That is not at all what happened. Every per-game stat has increased since Waddle went down.

They say you need three things to win the Heisman trophy in the modern era.

  1. Be the best player on one of the best teams – Check (arguably)
  2. Be near the top in your position stats – Check
  3. Have a “Heisman moment” – BIG Check
Alabama Football
Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

If there has been a WR since 1991 that has deserved the Heisman, it is Devonta. Yes, I know that Mac Jones is still there and I also think he deserves to be in the Heisman race, but Devonta has been that good in 2020. If you ask me, there are three Alabama football players that are in the top 10 for the Heisman (Joker, Smitty, and Najee).

Will Devonta win it? Probably not, but you cannot tell me that anybody has had a better 2020 than Devonta. People will say “Well, you have to be a QB to win it these days”, and to those people I would say, that is what the O’Brien Award is for. The Heisman is for the most outstanding player, and that is Devonta Smith. Plain and simple.

Next. DeVonta Smith deserves Heisman consideration. dark

My colleague Dakota Cox concurs. Devonta is not getting the Heisman love he deserves and voters need to pay attention. The two best players in America reside in Tuscaloosa and Alabama football should have at least two guys at the 2020 Heisman ceremony (digitally I presume).