Alabama's DeVonta Smith (C) on Tuesday could become just the third wide receiver in history to win the Heisman Trophy. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith is a heavy favorite to win the 86th Heisman Trophy, which will be announced Tuesday on ESPN.
The ceremony starts at 7 p.m. EST and will be held at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., studios. Smith and the other award finalists -- Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and Florida quarterback Kyle Trask -- will appear via satellite feeds from their homes or schools.
Heisman Trophy winners from past years, who typically attend the annual ceremony in New York City, will appear virtually due to coronavirus pandemic safety precautions.
Nine of the last 10 Heisman Trophy winners have been quarterbacks. Desmond Howard (1991), Tim Brown (1987) and Johnny Rodgers (1972) are the only players to win as wide receivers since the award was established in 1935.
Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow won the 85th Heisman Trophy before he was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Voting concluded for this year's Heisman Trophy on Dec. 21 after conference championship weekend. The finalists were announced Dec. 24.
Smith led the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision with 105 catches for 1,641 yards and 20 touchdowns in 12 games this season. The projected first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft averaged 136.8 receiving yards per game, which trailed only Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore (149.1 in eight games).
He holds the Southeastern Conference record for career touchdown catches and Alabama records for yards and touchdown receptions. He also tied the Rose Bowl Game record with three touchdown catches in the Crimson Tide's win Jan. 1 over Notre Dame.
Smith's teammate, Mac Jones, completed an FBS-best 77% of his throws for 4,036 yards, 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games this season. He trailed only Trask in touchdown passes and yards.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner led Alabama to a 12-0 record in his first full season as a starter. He had a school-record four performances with at least 400 passing yards this season.
Lawrence, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting last year. This year, the Clemson quarterback completed nearly 70% of his throws as he led the Tigers to a 10-2 record.
Lawrence ranked No. 12 in FBS with 24 touchdown passes and No. 8 in passing yards with 3,153, despite two fewer games played than Smith and Trask.
The Clemson quarterback took the Tigers to a College Football Playoff National Championship victory during his freshman campaign in 2019. The Tigers lost to LSU in the 2020 title game before a College Football Playoff Semifinal defeat last week by Ohio State.
Trask completed 68.9% of his throws for an FBS-best 4,283 yards and 43 scores this season for the Florida Gators. He had seven games with at least four touchdown passes and threw six touchdown passes in two games.
Trask set the Gators school record for touchdown passes in a single season as he led the team to an 8-4 record.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban holds the Leishman Trophy after the Crimson Tide defeated Notre Dame in the 2021 Rose Bowl on Friday. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo