Star receiver DeVonta Smith continues to make history as the college football season comes to a close. The University of Alabama star has learned that he is this year's Associated Press Player of the Year. His win is historic as he is the first receiver to ever bring home the award. His quarterback, Mac Jones, finished in second place.
“Probably one of the most selfless guys that I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach in terms of whatever he can do to help the team he wants to do,” University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said about his star player.
“The guy is one of the most popular guys on the team and also one of the leaders of the team that everybody looks up to because of the example that he sets every day and how he goes about his work.”
Smith and Jones were followed by Clemson Tigers Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and University of Florida Quarterback Kyle Trask. Lawrence, Trask, Smith and Jones will all participate in next week's virtual Heisman Trophy ceremony.
The Associated Press Player of the Year honor is often indicative of the sport's highest honor. Nearly 80% of Associated Press Player of the Year recipients have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy. Interestingly enough, the last two times that the trophy did not go home with the AP Player of the Year, it went home with a member of Saban's squad. Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009, but Ndamukong Suh was named AP player of the year. Most recently, Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy in 2015, but lost the AP Player of the Year race to Christian McCaffrey.
Smith will have an opportunity to add to his trophy case on January 5 during the Heisman Trophy presentation. If successful, he will become the first wide receiver since Desmond Howard in 1991 to win the award.
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