National Championship Game Preview: Heisman Trophy Winner Alabama WR DaVonta Smith

DaVonta Smith
DaVonta Smith Alabama WR 2021 (megasportsnews.com photo).jpg
  • POSITION WR
  • HEIGHT 6-1
  • WEIGHT 175
  • CLASS Senior
  • HOMETOWN Amite, La.
  • HIGH SCHOOL Amite

Senior (2020)

Returned for his senior season, providing the Crimson Tide offense with one of the top big-play threats in all of college football … one of three Heisman Trophy winners in Alabama history, joining Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015) in holding the prestigious honor … owns a four- and five-touchdown game making him the only receiver in SEC history with multiple career games totaling four or more receiving touchdowns … holds the SEC and Alabama career record for receiving touchdowns with 43, passing the previous mark of 31 held by Amari Cooper (2012-14) and Chris Doering of Florida (1992-95) … Alabama’s career receiving yards leader with 3,750, a total that is second in SEC history … moved past Cooper for the most 200-plus yard receiving performances in Alabama history with four to his name … recorded 13 100-plus yard receiving performances to rank tie with DJ Hall for second at UA … hauled in 223 career receptions to rank third on the Alabama list … averaging 16.8 yards per catch for his career, a total that is fourth all-time by an Alabama pass-catcher (minimum 100 catches) … one of the Crimson Tide’s permanent team captains for the 2020 season … selected as the Associated Press Player of the Year, the first wide receiver to ever win the award … also tabbed as Player of the Year by CBS Sports, Maxwell Football Club, The Sporting News and Walter Camp … the Biletnikoff Award winner, presented annually to the nation’s top pass catcher … recipient of the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player … unanimous first team All-American (AFCA, AP, FWAA, TSN, Walter Camp) … also earned first team All-America accolades from CBS Sports, ESPN.com, Pro Football Focus and USA Today … the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the AP and the league coaches …  also named to the league’s first team  by both groups … leads the country in receptions (105), receiving touchdowns (20), receiving yards (1,641) and yards after the catch (847) … ranks second nationally in receptions per game (8.8) and receiving yards per game (136.8) … converted a first down or a touchdown on a team-high 74 of his receptions this season … already owns the Alabama single-season record for receiving touchdowns and is on-pace to take over the receiving yards marks … added nine punt returns for 219 yards and a touchdown to average 24.3 yards per return … First Team Preseason All-American by all major outlets, including the AP, ESPN.com, TSN, USA Today and Walter Camp … named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, one year removed from being a semifinalist for the award … also tabbed to the Maxwell Award Watch List … earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week recognition for his play against Kentucky and at LSU … also named the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week following the Arkansas matchup …  selected to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll after Ole Miss, Auburn and Florida … named the Maxwell Player of the Week after LSU … earned Offensive Most Valuable Players honors in the CFP Semifinal against Notre Dame … selected as one of the offensive players of the week by the Alabama coaches for his play against Ole Miss, Georgia, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Auburn, LSU, Florida and Notre Dame … named a special teams player of the week for his play at Arkansas. Missouri: Totaled 89 yards on a team-high tying eight catches … added one rush for no gain while contributing one tackle on special teams. Texas A&M: Notched his first touchdown of the season as part of his team-leading six catches … totaled 63 yards by day’s end. Ole Miss: Led all wideouts with his career-high 13 catches, a total that matched the Alabama single-game mark for receptions … totaled a team-best 164 yards receiving and added one touchdown … named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for his play in Oxford … also earned offensive player of the week recognition from the Tide coaches for his efforts against the Rebels. Georgia: Earned offensive player of the week from the Alabama coaching staff for a standout performance against the nation’s top-ranked defense … paced all receivers with double-digit catches for a second straight week, posting 11 against the Bulldogs … finished with a team-high 167 yards and two scores … found the end zone from 17 and 13 yards out, toe-tapping the back line for the Tide’s final score of the night to seal the victory against UGA. Tennessee: Tied for the team-high total for receptions with seven on the day in Knoxville … tallied 73 yards with a long of 16 on those catches. Mississippi State: Recorded 11 catches for 203 yards and four touchdowns … averaged 18.5 yards per catch with touchdowns of 35, 53, 11 and 10 yards … nine of his receptions converted a touchdown or a first down, including four explosive plays of 30 yards or more … earned offensive player of the week accolades from the Tide coaching staff for his output against the Bulldogs. Kentucky: Earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts against UK … also selected as one of the Alabama coaching staff’s offensive players of the week … led all Crimson Tide wideouts with 144 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches … his first touchdown of the day helped him take sole possession of the Alabama and SEC career touchdown receptions mark … averaged 16.0 yards per catch with touchdowns from 10 and 18 yards out … eight of his nine receptions went for a first down or a touchdown, including a long grab of 35 … added two punt returns for a combined 50 yards with a long return of 41. Auburn: Paced the Alabama wideouts with seven catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns … averaged 24.4 yards per reception with scores from 66 and 58 yards out … the 100-plus yard effort was his fifth of the season and earned him offensive player of the week recognition from the UA coaching staff … also tabbed to the Hornung Award Honor Roll for his play in the Iron Bowl. LSU: Selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and the Maxwell Player of the Week as he torched the Tiger defense for a second consecutive season … racked up 231 yards and three touchdowns on eight receptions … averaged a whopping 28.9 yards per catch with touchdowns of 65, 61 and 20 yards … marked his fourth career 200-plus yard game to make him the UA all-time leader in that category … was also his 11th 100-plus yard receiving performance, the third-most in UA records … earned offensive player of the week recognition from the Tide coaches for his play in Baton Rouge. Arkansas: Added to his Heisman resume with an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown … the score was part of his three returns for 111 combined yards on punts to earn him special teams player of the week recognition from the Tide coaching staff … added three catches for 22 yards in his two quarters of play. Florida: Posted an SEC Championship Game and Alabama all-time mark for catches with 15 against the Gators … totaled a game-high 184 receiving yards to go with two touchdowns … finished with 208 all-purpose yards, adding 20 on a punt return that he nearly broke for a second … also contributed a four-yard return on kickoff coverage as part of UA’s hands team … named an offensive player of the week by the Tide staff for his efforts in Atlanta. Notre Dame: Earned Offensive Most Valuable Player honors for his efforts in the Rose Bowl … also tabbed as one of the offensive players of the week by the UA coaches for his play in Arlington … led all pass-catchers with 130 yards and three touchdowns on seven receptions … scored from 26, 34 and seven yards away … converted a first down or scored on six of his seven catches.

Junior (2019)

Second team All-American by the Associated Press and The Sporting News … selected as third team All-American by Pro Football Focus … earned All-SEC First Team honors from the Associated Press … named to the All-SEC second team by the league coaches … tied for Alabama’s team-long receiving score this season (85 yards) … recorded two of UA’s three 200-plus yard receiving games … was the first Tide wideout to notch multiple 200-plus yard performances in a single season since Amari Cooper in 2014 … ranked third in the SEC and was tied for fifth nationally in touchdown receptions with 14 … his 14 receiving scores ties for second in Alabama single-season history … finished third in the league in receiving yards with 1,256 a total that was tied for eighth in Division I … the 1,256 yards are the third-most in a single season in program history … second on the Tide with 68 catches … averaged 18.5 yards per catch to rank second in Alabama records for a single season (minimum 50 catches) … semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award along with Jerry Jeudy … selected to the Associated Press Midseason All-America First Team … also named as an ESPN Midseason All-American … added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List prior to the Texas A&M game, joining Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle … named the Walter Camp and Maxwell Player of the Week for his play against Ole Miss … selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his career day against the Rebels … named one of the Alabama coaching staff’s offensive players of the week for his play against New Mexico State, Ole Miss, LSU and Western Carolina. Duke: Caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown in Atlanta. New Mexico State: Ranked second on the Tide in receptions with five for 47 yards, including a long catch of 22 … earned offensive player of the week accolades from the Tide coaching staff for his play against the Aggies. South Carolina: Posted a career day against the Gamecocks, totaling a team- and career-high 136 yards on eight catches … added two touchdown receptions to tie for the team lead … paired with Henry Ruggs III to become the ninth receiving duo to eclipse the 100-yard mark in the same game. Southern Miss: Totaled two catches for 26 yards against the Golden Eagles. Ole Miss: Earned numerous offensive player of the week awards nationally and was selected to the same post by the Tide coaching staff … set Alabama single-game receiving records with 274 yards and five touchdowns … hauled in a career-best 11 passes on the day to average 24.9 yards per catch, the second-best mark in a single game by a wide receiver at UA (minimum eight catches) … his five touchdowns tied the SEC single-game record while his 274 yards ranked sixth in league annals … became just the sixth player in SEC history to score at least two touchdowns and go over 200 yards in a game, which he accomplished in the first half alone … also saw time at kick returner following an injury to Henry Ruggs III. Texas A&M: Recorded a team-high seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Aggies … the scoring play came from 47 yards out on a catch and run to give the Tide its second touchdown of the game. Tennessee: Sat out the first half but still contributed one catch for 18 yards and a first down against the Vols. Arkansas: Totaled 67 yards on four catches in the Homecoming matchup … had a game-long catch of 47 yards to set up an eventual Tide touchdown. LSU: Went off against the Tigers, recording his second 200-plus yard performance of the season … totaled 213 yards and a team-high two receiving scores on seven catches … averaged 30.4 yards per reception on the day … scored from 64 and 85 yards away while converting three first downs … with the 200-yard effort, he became the first Alabama wideout to total multiple 200-plus yard performances since Amari Cooper in 2014 … his impressive play earned him offensive player of the week recognition from the Tide coaches. Mississippi State: Caught six passes for 92 yards against the Bulldogs … helped convert a UA first down on four of his six catches with a long gain of 34. Western Carolina: Selected as one of the UA coaches’ offensive players of the week for his play against the Catamounts … led all Crimson Tide wideouts with four catches and two touchdowns on the day … accumulated 94 total yards with a long reception of 57 yards, which he took into the end zone for Alabama’s first touchdown of the day. Auburn: Totaled 80 yards on five receptions in the Iron Bowl matchup. Michigan: Caught three passes for 56 yards with one score … scored from 42 yards away while converting a first down on his first reception of the day … also added one tackle on punt coverage, downing the Wolverine returner for a loss of two yards.

Sophomore (2018)

Speedy wideout who secured the game-winning touchdown in the national title game in 2018 and expanded upon that success as a sophomore … amassed 693 yards on 42 catches for a 16.5 yards per catch average … also contributed six touchdown receptions to his sophomore stat line … 26 of his catches went for a first down or touchdown with 14 receptions totaling 20-plus yards, a total that tied for second on UA. Louisville: Led the Tide receivers with 99 yards on four catches against the Cardinals … both totals were career highs for the second-yard receiver. Arkansas State: Recorded three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown … the score came on his career-high tying 41-yard reception for the Tide’s third touchdown of the afternoon. Ole Miss: Caught three passes for 28 yards in Oxford. Texas A&M: Made a diving touchdown grab from 30 yards out on the Crimson Tide’s first offensive play of the afternoon … finished the matchup with the Aggies with four catches for 56 yards and the score. Louisiana: Tallied one catch for nine yards on the day. Arkansas: Hauled in two passes for 40 yards with a long gain of 26 … both of his grabs went for an Alabama first down. Missouri: Tied for the team lead in catches with four totaling a career-high 100 yards, including a career-long 57-yard reception … added one touchdown on a 13-yard strike from Tua Tagovailoa … suffered a leg injury that cut his night short against the Tigers. LSU: Returned to the field after missing a game due to injury … saw time at wideout in Baton Rouge but did not record a catch in his limited reps. Mississippi State: Limited once again but still recorded one catch for 10 yards and a Tide first down. The Citadel: Made his lone catch count, hauling in a seven-yard strike from Jalen Hurts for an Alabama touchdown. Auburn: Recorded 72 yards and a touchdown on a season-high tying four catches … the score came on a 40-yard pass and catch – his long reception on the day. Georgia: Caught three passes for 26 yards in the SEC Championship matchup. Oklahoma: Had a career game against the Sooners in the Orange Bowl … hauled in a team-high six catches for a team-leading 104 yards with one touchdown … his reception and yardage totals were both career-best marks … had a long reception of 50 yards, coming on the first play of the game to set up the Tide’s first score. Clemson: Led all UA wideouts in catches with six for 65 yards … had a long reception of 23 and earned a Crimson Tide first down on four of the six catches.

Freshman (2017)

Shifty and elusive wideout who played in every game as a freshman … recorded eight catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns … added one tackle on special teams coverage. Florida State: Entered the game at wide receiver but did not record any stats in his first career game. Fresno State: Did not have a catch against the Bulldogs. Colorado State: Made the first catch of his career for 24 yards. Vanderbilt: Hauled in his first career touchdown reception on a 27-yard strike from Tua Tagovailoa … was one of 10 Tide receivers to register a catch on the afternoon in Nashville. Ole Miss: Saw time against the Rebels but did not record any stats. Texas A&M: Played against the Aggies but did not record a catch. Arkansas: Caught one pass going for 16 yards against the Razorbacks. Tennessee: Saw time in the rivalry game with the Volunteers but did not record a catch. LSU: Made one catch for 12 yards across his four targets on the night. Mississippi State: Reeled in the game-winning catch for a 26-yard touchdown reception from Jalen Hurts with just 25 seconds left to play … beat his man on the slant at the 18 and shook off one Bulldog defender to take it in for six and help the Tide secure the victory. Mercer: Caught one pass for 10 yards and a first down against the Bears … added one tackle on kickoff coverage, his first of the season. Auburn: Saw time in the game against the Tigers but did not record any stats. Clemson: Recorded one reception against the Tigers, a four-yard slant late in the game. Georgia: Caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa in overtime … ran a streak down the sideline and found a hole in coverage to haul in the 41-yard pass to secure the Crimson Tide with its 17th national championship.

High School and Personal Data

An elite wide receiver prospect out of Louisiana … a five-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports … ranked No. 26 nationally in the Scout 300 and the No. 3 wideout in the nation … Scout also listed him as the top-rated wide receiver in the South region … No. 29 in the Top247 and the outlet’s No. 3 receiver and top player in Louisiana … a four-star in the 247Composite, ranking No. 64 nationally, the No. 9 wide receiver and the No. 2 player in the state … ranked No. 42 in the Rivals 100, the No. 6 wide receiver nationally and No. 2 in Louisiana … No. 93 on the PrepStar Dream Team and the magazine’s No. 9 wide receiver nationally … ESPN listed him No. 227 in the ESPN 300, the No. 34 receiver and No. 11 player in the state of Louisiana … took part in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge … participated in the U.S. Army All-American Game … led his Amite team, coached by Zephaniah Powell, to the Class 3A state championship game … earned Most Outstanding Player in 2016 LHSAA Class 3A state football championship game … earned 3A All-State honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) and was named All-District 7-3A … named MVP of the Nike New Orleans Regional … chose Alabama over LSU, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma and TCU.

INFORMATION COURTESY ALABAMA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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