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January 4, 2021

DeVonta Smith

Grapevine, Texas, USA

Alabama Crimson Tide

CFP Media Conference

Q. Will you talk about what it would mean to you and your family for you to win the Heisman Trophy tomorrow?

DEVONTA SMITH: Right now I'm not really worried about the Heisman Trophy. 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.

Q. Do you look at yourself as sort of like representing all receivers? In other words, receivers don't usually win this award; they often don't even get to be a finalist. Omari Cooper did but it's not that often. Do you take some pride representing yourself but also receivers?

DEVONTA SMITH: 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. So if you work for things you're going to get the things that you deserve.

Q. Seems like you're very familiar with playing in Hard Rock Stadium. Could you explain, I guess, having your last game here at the Orange Bowl and how you plan on utilizing that to your advantage this week?

DEVONTA SMITH: It really don't matter where we play at. Just spot the ball; I'm ready.

Q. I'm curious just what you've seen from Ohio State's secondary, specifically Shaun Wade. He came back this year to kind of prove himself, and I'm curious your perspective on what he's done and the match-up that you guys will have with that secondary.

DEVONTA SMITH: I really haven't watched film yet. I haven't got the chance to watch film yet. I'm going to kind of dig into it today. Hopefully I'll get into it today and I can see some things that are interesting for us.

Q. I can't help but want to ask really where you got that team-before-me kind of mentality, because we obviously hear it in these answers. So tell me a little bit of your background and why the team mentality kind of is engrained in you.

DEVONTA SMITH: Just because you're not out there playing by yourself. With team success comes individual success. If the team is doing good, then everybody is doing good, and that's what it all comes down to.

Q. You've always been a big part of the offense going back to your freshman year, but with Jaylen getting hurt earlier this year, how did that change your role or change your attitude in feeling like I have to be more of a contributor to this offense or a leader in this offense?

DEVONTA SMITH: Well, just me being the competitor I am I wanted to just do whatever I can to help the team, and that's what it came down to. Just everybody on the offense felt like they could do more to help the team, and that's what we've all been trying to do.

Q. You remember that 2018 team that was undefeated to this point in the season and didn't finish the way you wanted in California. How is that a motivating factor this week to keep this legacy of this team undefeated as opposed to a team that came this close and almost got there?

DEVONTA SMITH: The past is the past. Nothing we can do about it now. We're just focusing on this week and how we can prepare for this game and just making sure that it doesn't happen again.

Q. I was hoping you could talk to me a little bit about how the power of believing in yourself has shaped your life, and also I wanted you to kind of clue me in to when you got your last growth spurt. You went from 125 at some age when you were in high school -- is this right? I was reading back through some stories.

DEVONTA SMITH: I don't remember, but it was probably somewhere around that.

Q. How has the power of believing in yourself then shaped your life?

DEVONTA SMITH: Just you've got to believe in the things that you do. If you don't believe in it, then why are you doing it? You just can't be out here doing something that you don't believe in. You put your mind to some things and eventually it's going to happen.

Q. How many people told you you couldn't be a football player?

DEVONTA SMITH: I heard it a lot, all my life.

Q. Coming into the College Football Playoff, Ohio State had some disrespect to the program with people saying they do not deserve to get in. Were you all looking ahead to Clemson playing in the National Championship, and was it a shock to you that Clemson lost and you now have to face Ryan Day's Ohio State?

DEVONTA SMITH: I mean, I'm not part of the committee, so I have no say-so in who they put in and who they wanted to put in. At the end of the day, we just show up here, practice, and get ready for whoever the next opponent is.

Q. Last year's Citrus Bowl, how important do you think that game was in terms of a launching-off point for this 2020 team?

DEVONTA SMITH: I think it was very important, just to give everyone something to think about, how like the season went, and it wasn't where we wanted to be, but just to end everything on a good note to kind of be like, Okay, we see what next year is going to look like and we know what we have to do to get things right.

Q. How did Sark break the news that he was going to Texas, and what was the reaction among players?

DEVONTA SMITH: We had a meeting. Coach Saban told us about it. Everyone is happy for Coach Sark. That's part of the business. But he's going to be here with us throughout this last game, and we're trying to finish things the right way.

Q. The Nick Saban you see is not the Nick Saban we see. If you had to describe him to somebody on the outside, how would you do that?

DEVONTA SMITH: He's very funny. May not seem like it to y'all, but he has a sense of humor.

Q. Do you have any example of that, and how often do you see it?

DEVONTA SMITH: Every day at practice. It's always every day at practice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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