Stoic, as always, made a new introduction to Divonta Smith ahead of the CFP press conference on Wednesday morning.
Now, and throughout his life, the “Highsman Trophy winner” will be preceded by his first and last name in ceremonial moments like this. After an emotional response His Tuesday night hit, Smith grabbed his poker face and diverted questions any morning during a pre-scheduled media session to preview the national title game on Monday.
He said the whole experience was excellent, “but now it was in the past, and now it has come to Ohio.”
Unlike a traditional Heisman win with a long night in Manhattan, Smith went home after his historic night and was told to “sleep straight”.
His Alabama team players could have been a little more excited about the whole thing.
Quarterback Mac Jones, who finished third, said Smith was “a little shocked” when his name was called during the ceremony.
“It’s like a video game, man,” Jones said. “You’re there, you can see your teammate winning the Heisman Trophy, you think it’s one of the best things you can do, there’s a chance to be with him, especially when the crazy year is over, and you can be the first guy to congratulate him.”
Jones was picked up by friends in a family far away in Amritsar, Louisiana. After watching the broadcast with Smith’s parents, Quarterback said, “The whole city was really there.”
At the time Jones was sitting directly next to Smith, while fellow receiver John Metzi was watching ESPN from home. The extent of his surprise was somewhat less.
“I said long ago that Smitty was the best player in college football this year,” Metzi said. “So of course he was very good at winning. I’m so proud of him.”
Tide & Miller Foristal was in a unique position as the current or former teammate of three of the four finalists during the ceremony. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence was a high school student in Cartersville, Georgia.
Foristall described Smith as “a fighter in the ultimate sense.” He continued to fight everything that came his way and was a great team player.
“I described him to my high school coach the next day,” Foristall said. “He asked me about Divonta Smith. He wanted to know – this is Trevor Lawrence’s same high school coach. Not only do I look like a talented and talented guy, I look like a great team player.
Smith can also have an average poker face.
From the moment his Heisman role began to rise to its top he turned away any question of honor.
Don’t let that look fool you, Heisman has made him more excited than ever to lead him.
“Yeah, of course he’s,” said offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. “He’s excited about it. He’s grateful. But one thing about Smitty, he’s a great player, but he’s still a great team player and person.”
Jones broke into a smile looking back at the time he was playing with his decorated team.
They were both part of the Heralded 2017 recruitment class, but both were not in the headlines. The two go on a high school tour when they first build the chemistry that created both legends during this extraordinary 2020 college football season.
Jones looked back at how far they had come to reach the podium as co-Heisman finalists.
“I think about camps and things like that,” Jones said. “Smith and I were two skinny guys throwing the ball at each other, so it started right there. But he worked very hard and he deserved everything he came up with.”
Part of it is a new title like Mr., or Coach. Starting Tuesday night, Smith will be the “Heissman Trophy winner” and his teammates love it.