Alabama’s DeVonta Smith Named 2020 Paul Hornung Award Winner
Award Presented Annually Since 2010 to Most Versatile Player in Major College Football
Louisville, Ky. – Jan. 5, 2021 – Alabama senior wide receiver / return specialist DeVonta Smith, a prolific pass catcher and standout on special teams who scored touchdowns receiving, rushing and returning punts, has been named winner of the 11th annual Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.
The announcement was made today by the Louisville Sports Commission (LSC), owners and operators of the Paul Hornung Award, presented to the most versatile player in major college football. The LSC created the award in 2011 along with football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung, who passed away on Nov. 13, 2020, at age 84.
Smith converted 60 percent of his receptions into scores or first downs; led the nation in total receiving yards, touchdown receptions and yards after catch; and averaged 24 yards per punt return. He also was named AP Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist.
“I am truly honored to be named the winner of the Paul Hornung Award,” DeVonta Smith said. “I take pride in being the most complete and versatile football player I can possibly be, and to have my name mentioned in the same breath as Paul Hornung is truly special.”
“The Hornung Award could not have selected a more deserving winner,” said Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. “DeVonta has done a fantastic job of not only being an elite playmaker on the field, but a true leader off the field. Our team follows his lead and it is pretty special when your best players are the best leaders and best people on your team.”
Smith played in every game this season, helping the Crimson Tide to a 12-0 record, number one ranking and spot in the CFP championships. He touched the ball receiving, rushing, returning punts and kickoffs, and was a member of the onside kick receiving team and often was a gunner on the punt coverage team.
“Paul Hornung appreciated players who performed at a high level in the big games, a trait exemplified by DeVonta Smith” said Karl Schmitt Jr., Louisville Sports Commission president and CEO. “And with Paul’s recent passing, the LSC is pleased to continue to present this award in the spirit of his on-field accomplishments and legacy.”
In Alabama’s 34-14 win over Notre Dame in the first round of the CFP, Smith touched the ball three different ways for 145 all-purpose yards and three scores. He opened the scoring with a 26-yard reception in the first quarter and caught a seven-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that proved to be the game-winner.
In the SEC Championship, Smith touched the ball four different ways for 208 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 52-46 win over Florida. He caught 15 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, including a 15-yard score in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game winner. Smith accounted for five first downs receiving, recovered a teammate’s fumble that led to a score and recovered an onside kick late in the game. He also returned a punt 20 yards.
During the regular season, Smith touched the ball three different ways for 198 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the Iron Bowl when Alabama overwhelmed Auburn 42-14. In an early-season 63-48 shootout win over Ole Miss, he touched the ball three different ways for 220 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving; he added a season-best 13 receptions, including seven that went for first downs. Against LSU, Smith racked up 231 yards and three touchdowns on eight receptions, averaging 28.9 yards per catch with touchdowns of 65, 61 and 20 yards. In the Crimson Tide’s 52-3 win over Arkansas, he recorded 111 yards on three punt returns, including an 84-yard return for a score.
All-Purpose: 1,912 yards (159.3 avg. per game)
Rushing: 6 yards, 1 TD (0.5 avg. per game)
Receiving: 1,641 yards, 20 TDs (136.8 avg. per game)
Punt Return: 219 yards, 1 TD (24.3 avg. per return)
Kick Return: 46 yards (15.3 avg. per return)