Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith set an SEC record on Saturday when he hauled in his 32nd career touchdown reception in the No. 1 Crimson Tide's game against Kentucky. Smith's 10-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Mac Jones put Alabama ahead 14-3 in the second quarter, and pushed him past former Florida receiver Chris Doering and former Alabama star Amari Cooper in the league's record books.
The senior from Amite, Louisiana, entered Saturday's game as Alabama's leading receiver on the season with 56 receptions for 759 and eight touchdowns after choosing to spurn the NFL Draft and return for his senior season.
Smith's ascension to the top of the league record books is especially impressive considering that he entered his junior season last year with just nine career touchdown catches. But Smith exploded onto the scene for the Crimson Tide last year with 14 touchdown receptions to establish himself as one of the top receivers in the country entering the 2020 season. Alabama has become especially reliant on Smith this season since fellow star receiver Jaylen Waddle was likely lost for the season with injury against Tennessee on Oct. 24.
Though Smith would almost certainly have been selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, he explained in January why he wanted to return for another season.
"While I've achieved a lot on the field," Smith wrote, "I understand that football isn't forever. I have to prepare myself for life after the game and the first step to doing that is getting my degree."