Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith and attack coordinator Steve Sarkisian have done everything they can to keep the attention from the defining moments of their own careers as they prepare for Monday’s match with Ohio State at the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Smith on Wednesday decided he was unhappy that he had become the first broad buyer to win the Heisman trophy since 1991. He said he went home after Tuesday’s virtual ceremony and “fell asleep straight.”
“It was a great feeling last night,” Smith said. “It was only a blessing to be in that situation [quarterback Mac Jones and coach Nick Saban]. But now that’s the past, and now it’s heading for the state of Ohio. “
Smith, who led the nation in betting, got yards and got touchdowns, is likely to meet Shaun Wade, Ohio State All-America corner, in Monday’s league game (8 p.m., ESPN).
Smith called Wade a “cunning” player who is a “technician for everything he does.”
“I’m just looking forward to my last match,” Smith said. “Only this last one is guaranteed, so I’m looking forward to playing against it.”
Smith Mel Kiper is the fourth best prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and his No. 1 fan.
Sarkisian, who will be the next head coach of the Texas Longhorns after Monday’s title match, said, “I’m clearly excited about the opportunity,” which awaits him in Austin. On Wednesday, however, he asked for any questions regarding his remaining duties at the Crimson Tide.
Sarkisian, who was previously head coach at Washington (2009-2013) and USC (2014-2015), has been Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the past two seasons.
“My commitment to Coach Saban two years ago, I had the same commitment as these players, and I focus on this game,” Sarkisian said. “Watching this game to deserve it gives our players the opportunity to go out and play to the best of their ability.”
Sarkisian said he is trying to keep this week as normal as possible.
“Any free time I have will draw my attention to work in Texas, be it staffing or recruiting, things like that,” he said.
Sarkisian said Alabama host and returning specialist Jaylen Waddle, who fell with an ankle injury against Tennessee in mid-October and has not performed in a game ever since, practiced on Tuesday. Sarkisian also does not provide an update.
“We’ll see where this goes from here,” Sarkisian said.
Before his injury, Waddle caught 25 passes and four touchdowns. As a return specialist, he averaged 19.3 yards over his three seasons when the punt returned.
Smith said Waddle looked good in practice, but gave only a brief answer to the question of whether he thought his teammate could play.
“No comments,” Smith said.