Unchecked Boxes: DeVonta Smith Reflects on his Time with Alabama Football

From the Heisman Trophy to two national titles, Smith has a lot to think about as he presses onward towards the NFL
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MIAMI — With his time wearing a crimson and white jersey behind him, Alabama football wide receiver DeVonta Smith spoke to the media for what might be the final time with the Crimson Tide on Tuesday morning.

Finishing his time at Alabama with a 52-24 College Football Playoff National Championship win over Ohio State, Smith reflected on his journey these past four seasons in Tuscaloosa.

“[The] journey has been great,” Smith said. “Last night meant a lot to me. Just everything that I came back for I’ve done and more. It’s just truly a blessing.”

The national title wasn’t the only accolade that Smith earned this season. In addition to earning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver, Smith also earned AP and Walter Camp Player of the Year honors in addition to winning the Maxwell Trophy as college football’s best player.

On top of all that, Smith also earned the Heisman Trophy.

When talking about why he decided to return to Alabama for his senior season, Smith detailed that he had boxes that he felt still needed to be checked which convinced him that staying was the best option for him.

According to him, the Heisman was not one of those boxes.

“Just that the Heisman wasn’t something that I came back for,” Smith said. “I came back to get a degree and to win a national championship. That’s why that meant so much to me, why I was just so happy about it. Two main boxes that I wanted to check off, I checked off.”

To Smith, a degree was one of the primary unchecked boxes that he had to fill before moving on to the NFL. Many athletes who leave college football early to head to the ranks of professional football never return to finish their degree. For Smith, though, that was never an option.

When asked why he placed so much importance on earning his degree, Smith’s answer was short and sweet as always.

“Because eventually you’re going to have life after football,” Smith said. “Football is going to end one day. You’re going to have to find something else to do. I just wanted to get my degree so hopefully when I’m done playing I can end up coaching or training athletes.”

Throughout his four seasons with the Crimson Tide, Smith undoubtedly established a legacy that will not be soon forgotten. From Second and 26 in his freshman season to winning the Heisman Trophy along with bookending his career with national titles, the legend of the wide receiver that his teammates and coaches call ‘Smitty’ will not fade any time soon.

When asked to reflect on his time with the program, Smith said that he will never forget his times wearing a crimson and white jersey.

“It’s been unique and unforgettable,” Smith said. “Everything that’s been happening from my freshman to senior year are things I’ll never forget.”