Alabama's DeVonta Smith becomes first wide receiver to win AP Player of the Year award

Nick Bromberg
·1-min read

Alabama’s DeVonta Smith is the 2020 Associated Press Player of the Year.

Smith was named the top player in college football by the Associated Press on Tuesday. He’s the first wide receiver to get the award.

According to the AP, he beat out teammate Mac Jones for the honor. Both Smith and Jones are among the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. That award will be given out on Jan. 5 to either Smith, Jones, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Florida’s Kyle Trask.

Smith is the only Heisman finalist who isn’t a quarterback. And if he wins the Heisman he’ll be the first receiver since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991 to win the award.

Smith has been the most dominant wide receiver in college football this season. He has 98 catches for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns and has also rushed for a TD and returned a punt for a touchdown in 2020. He’s put up those stats as Alabama lost WR Jaylen Waddle to an ankle injury midway through the season.

Smith returned to Alabama for his senior season in 2020 after catching 68 passes for 1,256 yards and 14 TDs as a junior in 2020. He became famous in Alabama lore as a freshman when he caught the national-title winning touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa in overtime against Georgia in January of 2018.

Lawrence finished third in the AP voting while Trask was fourth. Smith got 26 of the 49 first-place votes cast while Jones and Lawrence each got nine first-place votes.

FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, file photo, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) runs against Florida during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game in Atlanta. Smith has been named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman will be awarded Jan. 5 during a virtual ceremony as the pandemic forced the cancellation of the usual trip to New York that for the presentation that usually comes with being a finalist.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
DeVonta Smith will have 100 catches this season if he catches at least two passes against Notre Dame. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

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