January 5, 2021
New York, New York, USA
Heisman Trophy Acceptance Speech
DEVONTA SMITH: First off, I would like to thank God. Without him, none of this would be possible. I congratulate all the finalists. Just to be in this situation with you guys, y'all are great athletes, and just to be a part of something like this is truly a blessing.
I want to thank my family, my mom, my dad, just everything that y'all taught me to mold me into the young man I am today. I want to thank my mentor, Vincent Sanders. Without you I wouldn't be where I am today, just from the rise to taking me places that I want to visit, just to doing things and just helping me get to where I am.
I want to thank Coach Saban for giving me the opportunity to come play at the University of Alabama. I thank Coach Wiggins, my receiver coach, just for helping me day in and day out, watching film, making me a better player. I thank my teammates. With team success comes individual success, so without y'all, I wouldn't be where I am today, winning this award.
And just to all the young kids out there that's not the biggest, not the strongest, just keep pushing because I'm not the biggest. I've been doubted a lot just because of my size, and really it just comes down to you put your mind to it, you can do it. No job is too big. If you put your mind to it, you can do it, and just keep believing in God, and you'll get where you want to be.
I would like to thank Jeff Allen and the athletic training staff here for giving me all the resources to continue playing this game, to keeping me healthy so I can go out there and do the things that I like to do.
I thank our president Dr. Bill and our athletic director Mr. Byrne just for being here and making everything possible with COVID going on and giving us a chance to play this season. Thank you. Roll tide!
Q. You were maybe about 160 pounds or so when you showed up at the campus of Tuscaloosa, so to all those who have been told you're not quite this, you're not quite that, it's not a journey from Amite to Heisman Trophy winner.
DEVONTA SMITH: It's just unbelievable, just coming from a small place like that. You just really have to work day in and day out and just believe in yourself, and if don't nobody else believe you, you just have to believe in yourself and just prove everybody wrong.
Q. You also talked today about the power of the collective. You get to that school and it's wide receiver, you; you've got Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. The wide receiver room is unbelievable. Talk about how you guys pushed each other and how those mentors helped you get here to this moment.
DEVONTA SMITH: It's just a family. Just when you got here, everyone was on the same mission to become the best player that they can be and everybody helped each other in a different way, and just being around those guys, they've taught me so much just from things on the field to off the field, and they've just guided me to where I am today, and I'm so thankful for them.
Q. To all the folks from Amite, you paid tribute to them. Some of those folks were probably mad when you didn't choose LSU. Your high school colors and the uniforms look just like the Bayou Bengals, but you also thanked them for their support. What does it mean to have all those folks gather to be able to share long distance in this moment with you?
DEVONTA SMITH: It means a lot. Just some of those people have seen me since I was a little kid playing youth football, youth basketball, just seeing me come up, and just they've been there every step of the way, even when I decided to come here. Some of them, they still decided to just follow my journey and just be there with me every step of the way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports