There is no inside information on my statement; however, do not be surprised if Devonta Smith wins the Heisman Trophy.
Smith of Alabama Crimson Tide is The Associated Press college football player of the year and the first wide receiver to win the award since it was established in 1998.
Smith is also the first Alabama player to win the award.
“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,” Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. “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 is trying to become the first receiver since Desmond Howard won the Heisman in 1991. He has 98 catches for 1,511 yards and has scored 19 total touchdowns.
It is not the Heisman Trophy; nonetheless could be a preview of the Heisman voting; Smith received 26 first-place votes and 114 points to finish easily ahead of his quarterback, Mac Jones.
Jones received nine first-place votes and 67 points as he and Smith became the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting for AP player of the year.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished third with nine first-place votes and 49 points, and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was fourth with three first-place votes and 44 points.
Smith, Jones, Lawrence, and Trask are the Heisman Trophy finalists. The 2020 Heisman Trophy will be awarded in a virtual ceremony on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
I may be predicting Smith, the winner, though the winner will be announced in 2021, it is from the 2020 season. Expect the unexpected.
The AP player of the year has gone to the Heisman winner 17 of 22 times previously. The two most recent times when the AP player of the year and the Heisman went to different players involved Alabama’s Heisman winners.
In 2009, Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram won the Heisman in one of the closest votes in the award’s history, but Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was AP player of the year.
Derrick Henry won the 2015 Heisman for the Tide, but Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey was AP player of the year.
Like the Heisman, quarterbacks have dominated the AP player of the year, with 17 QBs winning the award, along with four running backs.
Smith decided to turn down the NFL Draft and return to play for a National Championship.
Smith will find out if he made a historical decision also by winning the Heisman as a receiver. A return on investment that will make him a higher NFL Draft pick.
Associated Press contributed to this column