One universal sign of dominance in any sport is when one has its jersey number retired.
For the University of Alabama, DeVonta Smith and the No. 6 instantly became a perfect match.
He introduced himself to the world with a game-winning reception in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship as a freshman, and developed into becoming the greatest wide receiver to play for the Crimson Tide. In donning No. 6, Smith has rewrote the record books for receptions (235), receiving yards (3,965) and touchdowns (46) for a career in Alabama history.
He has also changed history in the Southeastern Conference for receptions and receiving yards. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder dominant college football in 2020, regardless of a global pandemic.
Despite a 10-game, conference-only schedule, he led the NCAA for catches (117), yards (1,856) and touchdown receptions (23) — en route to winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award, Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Player of the Year honors.
Smith finished as one of five Unanimous All-Americans for the Crimson Tide.
He set a CFP National Championship Game record in the first half versus Ohio State, totaling 215 yards receiving with three touchdowns.
A native of Amite, La., Smith has heard his head coach — Nick Saban — say on many occasions that no one did more for their school than he did for Alabama. With that being said, should the No. 6 be retired in honor of Smith?
One Tide player thinks so.
Phidarian Mathis, a redshirt junior, feels like the number should hang up at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Retire that 6ix🤷🏾♂️🗣
— Phidarian (Phil) Mathis🙏🏾💪🏾 (@PhidarianMathis) January 13, 2021
As a fellow Louisiana native, Mathis came in the 2017 signing class with Smith and has watched his growth.
Based on what he has done — both on and off the field — and being a huge contributor for two national titles, it is a conversation that needs to be had. Will the Tide ultimately choose to retire Smith’s number? The answer to this remains to be seen.
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