During the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Hard Rock Stadium on Monday night, Heisman winner DeVonta Smith had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns — in the first half.
Smith did not catch another pass or gain another yard in the game after a dislocated finger ended his night early in the third quarter. But it didn’t matter, as the Crimson Tide went on to rout the Buckeyes 52-24 to capture coach Nick Saban’s seventh overall career title, breaking a tie with Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most by a major college coach.
“Last year, they said the dynasty was over,” Smith said after the game. “We don’t stop. We just keep reloading. We just finished writing our story. That was the whole thing of us coming back, just finishing the story that we wanted to write. And we did that. That’s what we do. That’s why you come to ’Bama.”
Now headed to the NFL, Smith will enter the draft as the first FBS player since Michael Crabtree in 2007 to lead the nation in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
“Smitty, obviously, had a great half,” Saban said. “Heavens knows what he would have done if he played the whole game.”
Twenty-two-year-old Smith will become a professional after winning two national championships as an amateur, the first coming his freshman year when he caught the title-winning pass from Tua Tagovailoa in overtime as Alabama topped Georgia.
Now, with Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins team slated to pick third in the NFL draft, it is possible that a reunion between the two former Alabama stars could be in the works.
Smith’s teammate, quarterback Mac Jones, improved his draft stock with a 464-yard, five-TD performance in the title game while Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields potentially damaged his by passing for just 194 yards and a touchdown.