DaVonta Smith, Alabama
Smith is conjuring some Desmond Howard vibes with his punt return for a touchdown against Arkansas, and the timing couldn’t have been better, with his odds jumping to +500 after sitting at +5000 back on Dec. 1. Comfortably in the FBS lead for receiving yards (1,327) and with four more touchdowns (15) than the next best Power 5 pass-catcher, Smith has to be licking his chops after watching LSU’s Kayshon Boutte have 108 yards and a score through the air against Florida.
As we saw against the Razorbacks, a defense fully committing to neutralizing Smith can limit him in the passing game as had just three catches for 22 yards, though he can still find a way to impact the game. But can he do enough to steal the spotlight from the two contenders ahead of him, who just so happen to be sharing the same field?
Heisman Forecast: The momentum is real, but it may be too late for Smith to deliver at a position that has often been an afterthought in the Heisman race. Jones is already established as the poster boy of the nation’s No. 1 team, and as we’ve discussed before, the credit in the quarterback/receiver relationship has so often leaned in the passer’s direction.
Since Army’s Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis finished first and second in 1945, no school has equaled that feat, but Smith seems a lock to join his teammate at the ceremony with a chance of pulling even with Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside.