After the biggest moment of his football career so far, DeVonta Smith took the time to share a message to the youth. And that's because the Alabama senior wide receiver, who is listed at 6'1" and 175 pounds, had just proved any doubters wrong by winning the Heisman Trophy.
"To all the young kids out there that's not the biggest, not the strongest, just keep pushing, because I'm not the biggest," he said during his acceptance speech (h/t ESPN's Alex Scarborough). "I've been doubted a lot just because of my size. Really, it just comes down to you put your mind to it, you can do it. No job is too big."
Smith won the Heisman on Tuesday night in a virtual ceremony aired on ESPN, becoming the first wide receiver to claim the award since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991. And he's only the fourth receiver to win the honor since it was first handed out in 1935.
With 447 first-place votes, the 22-year-old had more than twice as many as the second-place finisher, who was Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with 222. Smith had 1,856 points, while the Tigers star ended up with 1,187 points.
The third-place finisher was Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who knows just how special of a player Smith is. Of the signal-caller's 36 touchdown passes this season, 20 have gone to the Heisman winner.
"He means the most to us here at Alabama," Jones said. "You can watch the games and see that, what type of person he is with how he plays. I've been real excited just to be able to get him the ball this year. He came back to try and win a national championship and improve his draft [stock], and I feel like he's done exactly that because he's just gotten open and made explosive plays."
Among Smith's former teammates at Alabama to tweet their support were Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.
Part of the reason why Smith had to play such a large role in the Crimson Tide's offense this season is because junior Jaylen Waddle has played only four games due to a fractured ankle.
After Smith received the trophy, Waddle tweeted his excitement for his teammate:
Before Smith, only two Alabama players had won the award—running backs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015). Both retweeted the Crimson Tide account's tribute, and Ingram congratulated him for joining the "brotherhood":
Media members also praised Smith following the announcement, as many believed he was a deserving winner. That included ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, who shared why he was "really happy" for the Alabama receiver:
Kirk Herbstreit @KirkHerbstreit
Congratulations to all the finalists tonight for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Really happy for @DeVontaSmith_6 winning it this yr. Waited his turn-Worked hard-Got better-Had back to back monster years-Wins the Heisman. 2 words sum up his journey. *Worker *Humility Congrats!
It's been an incredible season for Smith, and he has one game remaining. He could end his college career with a national title, as Alabama is getting set to play Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Smith has had some of his best showings on big stages. He had a season-high 15 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns against Florida in the SEC Championship Game; then, he had seven catches for 130 yards and three touchdowns against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl.
It would only be fitting for Smith to follow up his Heisman-winning night by claiming the national title less than a week later. And the Crimson Tide certainly have a chance to do just that.