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Alabama’s DeVonta Smith becomes first ever WR named AP Player of the Year

The Associated Press on Tuesday announced that University of Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith has been named as its player of the year for the 2020 college football season.

Smith became the first ever player at his position to win the award, which was established in 1998.

“In what could be a preview of the Heisman Trophy voting, Smith received 26 first-place votes and 114 points to finish comfortably ahead of his teammate and quarterback, Mac Jones,” the AP wrote.

Smith and Jones are both Heisman finalists; Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris finished fifth in Heisman voting. Bama is the second team ever to place three players in the top five of the same Heisman vote, joining 1946 Army.

More history was made in Tuesday’s AP announcement.

Jones received nine first-place votes and 67 points as he and Smith became the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting for player of the year. The star wide receiver was also the first Tide player to win the award.

The AP player of the year has previously gone to the Heisman winner 17 of 22 times, and a receiver has not won the Heisman since 1991.

Smith was the national leader in receptions (98), receiving yards (1,511) and yards after the catch (768) while ranking second in receiving touchdowns (17) and receiving yards per game (137.4) this season. He was Pro Football Focus’ top-rated wide receiver this season and in the history of the site at 93.7.

Harris finished tied for ninth in the AP player of the year voting.

The Heisman will be presented on January 5.

The Tide will play Notre Dame on Friday in the College Football Playoff semifinal version of the Rose Bowl in Dallas, TX.

RELATED: Bama offense racks up unprecedented honors — Five players selected first team All-Americans, Sarkisian named nation’s best assistant coach

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn