Is DeVonta Smith worthy of a Jerry Rice comparison? | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Alabama super star DeVonta Smith’s amazing performance in the first half of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and if he has potential to be one of the all-time greats at the wide receiver position.

Video Transcript

PETE THAMEL: Let me ask this. Do you remember ever, Pat-- and I wrote about this tonight and I thought about it on my ride back to the hotel-- a better big game performance by a receiver?

PAT FORDE: No.

PETE THAMEL: Can you ever remember--

PAT FORDE: No.

PETE THAMEL: --a receiver being this dominant?

PAT FORDE: No, no, no. No, no, no, no.

PETE THAMEL: I think Devonta Smith in this wonderful season he had has almost like reset the standard. Like last year, Joe Burrow reset the standard for a single-season quarterback. And I think tonight was the capper on DeVonta Smith resetting the standard of brilliance for a receiver in college football. I mean, the Heisman-- obviously, there's only been four in a century or whatever.

I mean, just an outright obliteration of an opponent almost single-handed. I just couldn't have walked away more impressed. He could beat you short. He could beat you deep. He could juke you. He could beat you on kick returns. I mean, just what a mauler he is.

PAT FORDE: Yeah, 175-pound mauler. That's the thing.

PETE THAMEL: Yes.

PAT FORDE: You look at him, and you're like, eh, that guy ain't much. And then he starts to run, and then he runs routes, and then he catches everything. I stopped myself, guys-- we talked about DeVonta Smith I can't remember whether it was one or two podcasts ago, and I stopped myself from a crazy comparison that I'm now going to make. He has the technical skill set of Jerry Rice.

PETE THAMEL: Wow.

PAT FORDE: He has--

PETE THAMEL: Wow.

PAT FORDE: --the hands, the feet, the mentality, the attention to detail. I'm not saying he's gonna be Jerry Rice because there has never been a Jerry Rice.

PETE THAMEL: Correct.

PAT FORDE: But like you said, Pete, I mean, receivers don't completely take over a game like he did in the first half or a season the way he did. And, I mean, just incredible.

PETE THAMEL: So here's the question. Will Dan continue to shame me for not voting for Trevor Lawrence for Heisman? I voted for DeVonta Smith for Heisman. We couldn't quite reveal it in our last reveal. Pat tipped his hand but didn't quite reveal it.

I voted him first. I had no regrets. I knew I would get browbeat by Dan for the next eight months on the podcast. But, Dan, am I forgiven now? Is my vote OK?

DAN WETZEL: Eh.

[LAUGHTER]

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