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Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) makes a catch for a touchdown against Florida during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Atlanta. (

Well, this got a little awkward.

Alabama's ability to win 11 consecutive games against Southeastern Conference opposition and nail down the top seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff has resulted in senior receiver DeVonta Smith and redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones being the chief choices for this season's Heisman Trophy. The same program hasn't produced the top two Heisman finishers since 1945, when Army fullback Doc Blanchard received more votes than Cadets running back Glenn Davis.

The 2020 Heisman Trophy finalists will be revealed Thursday night on ESPN, with the winner being announced via a virtual ceremony Jan. 5.

"We're only guaranteed one more game," Smith said Tuesday afternoon, "and I'm more focused on that than an award."

When asked if he's annoyed by the amount of Heisman-related questions he's fielding, Smith said, "Most definitely."

Smith has racked up 98 receptions for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns entering Alabama's New Year's Day matchup with fourth-seeded Notre Dame in a Rose Bowl relocated to Arlington, Texas. He leads all receivers nationally by more than 300 yards and also had an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown earlier this month at Arkansas.

A receiver hasn't won the Heisman Trophy since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991, but Smith is the betting favorite and on Tuesday topped Jones and Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris as the SEC Offensive Player of the Year as voted on by league coaches.

"I can't do anything without my teammates," Smith said. "I can't do anything without the offensive line blocking for Mac and for Mac getting me the ball and for Najee and our running backs running the ball to set up the pass. I can't do anything without any of them."

Smith, Jones and Alabama junior cornerback Patrick Surtain II were each asked about the Heisman Trophy race during a Zoom call Tuesday.

"We don't really think about awards," said Jones, the nation's leader in passing efficiency (202.3) who has 32 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. "Our main goals were to come in here and be leaders and win a national championship. That other stuff always takes care of itself.

"If you look back on it, we're right where we want to be, and we can't overlook the opportunity that we have."

When asked why Jones should win the Heisman, Smith said, "He's the leader of the offense. He controls everything." When asked why Smith should win it, Jones said, "He's the most electric player in college football and he means the most to us here at Alabama. You can watch the games and see that."

Once it became Surtain's turn, he said, "I believe they both deserve it."

Surtain was named Tuesday as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, with Jones earning SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Nick Saban the Coach of the Year. Saban also was voted top coach by his peers in 2008, 2009 and 2016, when the Crimson Tide went to the playoff with a 13-0 record and Auburn went to the Sugar Bowl as the league's next highest-ranked team with an 8-4 mark.

The Jacobs Trophy, which goes to the top offensive lineman in the SEC, was a tie between Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood and Crimson Tide center Landon Dickerson. Jones, Smith, Harris, Surtain, Leatherwood and Dickerson were joined on the All-SEC first team by offensive lineman Deonte Brown, defensive lineman Christian Barmore and linebacker Dylan Moses.

"Our players have contributed to their consistency in performance by staying focused on the right things amid a lot of abnormal things," Saban said. "You've got to give them a lot of credit for their resiliency and their ability to overcome adversity and maintain consistency in what has been a year full of disruptions."

Though Alabama accounted for most of the league's individual winners, the Crimson Tide didn't pull a clean sweep. Georgia punter Jake Camarda was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, while SEC Freshman of the Year was a tie between Auburn running back Tank Bigsby and Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak.

Auburn also had the top league freshman last year with quarterback Bo Nix.

Camarda was one of three Georgia players to earn SEC first-team honors, joining offensive lineman Ben Cleveland and safety Richard LeCounte. Tennessee's lone first- or second-team representative was offensive lineman Trey Smith, who was a first-team pick.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

COACHES' ALL SEC TEAMS

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

TE

Kyle Pitts, Florida

OL

Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

Landon Young, Kentucky

Ben Cleveland, Georgia

Trey Smith, Tennessee*

Deonte Brown, Alabama*

C

Landon Dickerson, Alabama

WR

DeVonta Smith, Alabama

Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

QB

Mac Jones, Alabama

RB

Najee Harris, Alabama

Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

AP

Kadarius Toney, Florida

DEFENSE

DL

Christian Barmore, Alabama

Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri

Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M

LB

Nick Bolton, Missouri

Dylan Moses, Alabama

Grant Morgan, Arkansas

DB

Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Kaiir Elam, Florida

Richard LeCounte, Georgia

Derek Stingley, LSU

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK

Cade York, LSU

P

Jake Camarda, Georgia

RS

Kadarius Toney, Florida

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

TE

Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

OL

Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

Dan Moore Jr., Texas A&M

Carson Green, Texas A&M

C

Drake Jackson, Kentucky

WR

Kadarius Toney, Florida

Treylon Burks, Arkansas

QB

Kyle Trask, Florida

RB

Kevin Harris, South Carolina

Larry Rountree, Missouri

AP

Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

DEFENSE

DL

Big Kat Bryant, Auburn

Jordan Davis, Georgia

Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt

Ali Gaye, LSU

LB

Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

Bumper Pool, Arkansas

Christopher Allen, Alabama

DB

Eric Stokes, Georgia

Malachi Moore, Alabama

Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK

Anders Carlson, Auburn

P

Zach Von Rosenberg, LSU

RS

Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

FRESHMAN ALL-SEC

OFFENSE

TE

Arik Gilbert, LSU*

Hudson Henry, Arkansas*

OL

Warren McClendon, Georgia

Javion Cohen, Alabama

Brady Latham, Arkansas

Charles Cross, Mississippi State

WR

Kayshon Boutte, LSU

Jaden Walley, Mississippi State

QB

Connor Bazelak, Missouri

RB

Tank Bigsby, Auburn

Kendall Milton, Georgia

AP

Tank Bigsby, Auburn

DEFENSE

DL

Colby Wooden, Auburn

Jalen Carter, Georgia

BJ Ojulari, LSU

McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

LB

Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

J.J. Weaver, Kentucky

Mohamed Kaba, South Carolina

DB

Malachi Moore, Alabama

Eli Ricks, LSU

Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK

Harrison Mevis, Missouri

P

Kai Kroeger, South Carolina

RS

Kayshon Boutte, LSU

(* - Ties )

 

 

 

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