With its bid for the CFP National Championship Game trophy still a week away, No. 1 Alabama will find out Tuesday if it will grab a different piece of hardware before facing No. 3 Ohio State.
The Heisman Trophy presentation will take place Tuesday night, giving the Crimson Tide one last potential distraction on their way to team glory. Or maybe it will be motivation.
In a concession to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony will he held virtually from ESPN studios at Bristol, Conn., with all four candidates on hand from remote locations.
Alabama will have two chances at the award as wide receiver DeVonta Smith and quarterback Mac Jones wait to see if their name will be called. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask also are finalists.
Smith and Jones showed their Heisman credentials in a 31-14 CFP Semifinal victory over Notre Dame on New Year’s Day at a displaced Rose Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Smith had seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Jones was the provider for Smith’s big day by going 25-for-30 passing for 297 yards and four touchdowns.
Just don’t ask Smith to break down the race between him and his teammate. In fact, don’t even mention it with so much team glory at stake soon.
“Right now I’m not really worried about the Heisman Trophy,” Smith said Monday. “I’m just trying to come in with the team this weekend, just look forward to getting on to the game plan for Ohio State.”
That kind of focus helped Smith to 105 catches in his senior season for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns. He could be the first wide receiver to win college football’s top honor since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.
Quarterbacks have won the award nine of the last 10 years and Jones put himself in contention during a season when he passed for 4,036 yards, 36 touchdowns and four interceptions in 12 games. Lawrence had 3,153 yards passing, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games. Trask had 4,283 yards passing, 43 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games.
He faces some formidable quarterback competition for the award, and while Smith might not want to discuss individual accolades so close to a championship game, he said that he is honored to represent wide receivers on the national stage.
“I guess you could say that, just showing that it really just — the person that goes out and just puts in the work, they’re going to get the things that they deserve,” the Amite, La., product said. “So if you work for things you’re going to get the things that you deserve.”