Alabama star wide receiver DeVonta Smith has a fan in O.J. Simpson.
Smith and Simpson, the legendary Buffalo Bills running back, have something in commons beyond playing football. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy during own his college football days at Southern California.
In a recent Twitter video, Simpson not only bestowed heavy praise on Smith but compared him to a receiver who is currently enshrined alongside Simpson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
DeVonta Smith is Alabama’s star receiver
Despite only weighing 175 pounds, DeVonta Smith has grown into one of college football’s most dangerous weapons.
After only catching eight passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman in 2017, Smith’s numbers jumped to 42 catches, 693 yards, and six touchdowns the next season.
Smith earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2019, hauling in 68 receptions for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Then came Smith’s massive 2020 season. Entering Monday’s national championship game against Justin Fields and Ohio State, Smith turned 105 catches into 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Smith also had a rushing touchdown and an 84-yard score on a punt return.
Smith won the Heisman Trophy this season
For the first time in nearly 30 years, a wide receiver held the Heisman Trophy in jubilation.
Smith earned 447 first-place votes and 1,856 total points, far ahead of Lawrence’s 222 and 1,187 in the respective categories. Jones earned 1,130 points and 138 first-place votes, while Trask finished with 737 and 61, respectively.
Nebraska weapon Johnny Rodgers (1972) and Notre Dame legend Tim Brown (1987) are the other wide receivers who won the Heisman Trophy.
O.J. Simpson compared DeVonta Smith to Lynn Swann
Despite his lanky frame, DeVonta Smith is expected to be a first-round selection in the 2021 NFL draft.
Buffalo Bills legend O.J. Simpson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1968, has high hopes for Smith and what he is capable of doing at the next level.
In a recent Twitter video, Simpson said he expects Smith to overcome the height concerns and become a standout NFL receiver.
“He’s probably just the same size as Lynn Swann and he’s certainly bigger than DeSean Jackson. The guy’s a heck of an athlete and hopefully he’ll team up with [Miami Dolphins quarterback and former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa]. … I think this guy is gonna have a big pro career.”
Swann stood 5 feet 11 inches and weighed 180 pounds during his playing career from 1974-82. The four-time Super Bowl champion hauled in 336 catches for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns during that span.
Swann added another 364 receiving yards in four Super Bowl appearances and entered the Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
DeVonta Smith would be lucky to have a career even close to what Swann did. But, at least one Heisman winner believes in Smith, and that could be motivation on its own.