AMITE, La. (WGNO) — In 2020, DeVonta Smith ended a 29-year drought for wide receivers to win the Heisman Trophy. A little more than two years later, the Amite native can add the title of Super Bowl champion to his already impressive resume.
“To have a native of our community, competing in Super Bowl 57 is fantastic,” said Zeph Powell, head coach of Amite, where Smith played high school football.
Powell began coaching the Amite Warriors in 2015.
“I remember when he was a skinny kid,” Powell recalled. “It is his mindset. It is unimaginable what he has done and what he will do. When I came in 2015, to see it up close – it was unbelievable.”
As a freshman at Alabama, Smith caught the game-winning touchdown pass for the Crimson Tide in the national championship game against Georgia.
And this season, in Philadelphia, no one benefitted from the trade for wide receiver A.J. Brown more than DeVonta Smith.
Smith went from 64 catches to 95, and from five touchdown receptions to seven.
“Tay Tay just blossomed,” said Powell. “Because, now the focus is, if you hone in on one, the other one is going to hurt you and a lot of times DeVonta was going to be that guy that was going to hurt you.”
Smith is one of the great athletic stories from Tangipahoa Parish, and Coach Powell said there is a simple reason why.
“Our parish has been blessed to have good gene pools,” he said jovially. “Just being honest – good gene pools.”
Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.