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Heisman Trophy Win Is First of Its Kind in Decades

DeVonta Smith is just the 4th wide receiver ever to win
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2021 12:59 AM CST
Heisman Trophy Win Is a First in 29 Years
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) catches a pass in the end zone for a touchdown as Notre Dame cornerback Nick McCloud, right, defends in the second half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.   (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

(Newser) – On an Alabama team stacked with stars, DeVonta Smith emerged as the best player in college football while playing a position that rarely gets that kind of recognition. Smith became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 29 seasons Tuesday night, breaking the monopoly quarterbacks have had on the award by beating out three of them, the AP reports. “Just to be one of the very few that played receiver to win the Heisman, it means a lot to me,” Smith said. Smith finished with 447 first-place votes and 1,856 points to easily outdistance Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (222, 1,187), Alabama teammate Mac Jones (138, 1,130), and Florida’s Kyle Trask (61, 737). Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris finished fifth in the voting, making No. 1 Alabama the second team in the 85-year history of the Heisman to have three of the top five vote-getters.

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Smith is just the fourth receiver to win the Heisman, joining Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991, Notre Dame’s Tim Brown in 1987, and Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers in 1972. Quarterbacks had won 17 of the previous 20 Heisman trophies, including the last four. Smith was presented the award in a virtual ceremony orchestrated by ESPN. Smith held back tears during his speech, recalling how many thought he was too small to become a football star. “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 because of my size and, really, it's just comes down to you just put your mind to it, no job's too big,” said the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith. Alabama faces No. 3 Ohio State on Jan. 11 in the College Football Playoff title game in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Much more on Smith here.)

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