‘Performance Speaks for Itself’- Nick Saban Lauds Heisman Trophy Winner De’Vonta Smith

Published 03/29/2021, 5:22 PM EDT
Jan 5, 2021; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith poses for a photo after being announced the winner of the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Mandatory Credit: Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via USA TODAY Sports


De’Vonta Smith spent 4 years at the University of Alabama. He played as a wide receiver under the tutelage of legendary college football Head Coach, Nick Saban. But he only burst onto the scene in 2019. Smith concluded his junior year with 1,256 receiving yards and 14 receiving TDs.

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Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against Ohio State Buckeyes safety Marcus Hooker (23) in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Not many could have predicted his sensational season in 2020. The Louisiana-born athlete bagged the Heisman Trophy award after guiding Alabama to the CFP National Championship in his senior year.

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Smith had 1,856 receiving yards and 23 receiving TDs in 2020 playing alongside young starlets such as QB Mac Jones and RB Najee Harris.

But latest reports indicate that NFL teams remain unsure about De’Vonta due to his physical attributes. At 6’1″, Smith is not exactly a ‘beast’ as compared to top NFL wideouts such as DK Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, or Michael Thomas.

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De’Vonta Smith backed by Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban

Speaking to Sports Illustrated in a recent interview, Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban silenced all doubts regarding his former player, De’Vonta Smith.

He said, “I would first off have to say that I think his performance speaks for itself. I’ll be honest with you, when we recruited DeVonta Smith he weighed 159 pounds.

“I wished he was bigger. And now he weighs 170 pounds and I think people at the next level are probably saying ‘I wish he was bigger.’

“But saying all that to say this: there are bigger people who don’t perform anywhere near how he performs. There are people that are bigger than him that don’t have the competitive spirit that he has nor the competitive toughness.

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“Tell me how many receivers are tougher than he is — that block better, that play more physical than he does — so I think maybe there’s a time when you say, ‘This guy really overcomes the fact that he’s not the biggest guy in the world and he really plays this game really, really well’,” Saban said.

As per the latest reports, Smith is reportedly on the radar of AFC East franchise Miami Dolphins and Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals.

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Coach Brian Flores is keen to reunite Smith with former teammate Tua Tagovailoa. But only time will tell if their plan works out as other NFL teams continue to scout the promising young wide receiver.

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Daniel Arambur

1782 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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