by Alex Poletti
Photo by Tom Pennington | Credit: Getty Images
Almost 30 years after a receiver was awarded the Heisman Trophy, another name was added to that short list on Tuesday when Alabama wideout DeVonta Smith won the prestigious honor. His win shows that there’s hope for the little guy, as long as the little guy is still of above-average height and in peak physical shape.
“To all the young kids out there that’s not the biggest, not the strongest, just keep pushing,” Smith said in his acceptance speech, “and if one day, you get to be 6’1 and have access to one of the world’s premier training facilities, you can achieve this, too.”
Smith was often doubted because of his below-average-but-still-in-real-life-above-average height, but he made his impact felt on the gridiron his freshman year, when he caught the game-winning catch in overtime against Ohio State in the College Football Championship. Since then, he’s been an impact player for the Crimson Tide.
Entering the draft as a lock for the first round, Smith has drawn comparisons to Hall-of-Famer Marvin Harrison due to a similarity in size. Across sports lines, he’s been compared to 5’5 second baseman Jose Altuve of the Astros, if Jose Altuve was 6’1 and was more beefed than anything on the Arby’s menu.
“He’s my biggest inspiration,” 4’8 12-year-old from Tuscaloosa Tre Addams says. “I want to be like him when I grow up. He shows me that anyone can play for Bama as long as they are in the 14.2% of men that grow above 6 feet.”
Smith is slotted in some fantasy drafts to go as high as third overall, which would reunite him with former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa to form a potentially explosive quarterback-receiver duo for years to come.
“I would love to play with Tua again,” Smith tells The Second String. “He’s one of those guys who never doubted me for my size. A big part of that may be because I am taller and heavier than he is, but I think it’s also just because he’s one of those guys.”