Best college football player? Alabama WR says it’s a teammate.

The best player in college football?

That’s a tough one, especially in a season like this one with everyone playing such untraditional schedules. As November becomes December, there’s momentum for an Alabama player — just not the traditional suspect.

Crimson Tide receiver DeVonta Smith is climbing the straw poll projections for the Heisman Trophy consideration coming off a big Iron Bowl. He received four first-place votes (up from one last week) among the 53 voters on The Athletics poll and received the fifth-most votes.

Fellow Alabama receiver John Metchie would make it five if he had a ballot.

“Defenses can try to lock in on DeVonta,” Metchie said Monday. “I don’t think… It’s kind of hard to stop somebody like that. Personally I think Smitty is the best player in college football right now.”

Smith is tied for the national lead with 12 receiving touchdowns and his 134.3 average receiving yards is No. 3. He had seven catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-13 win over Auburn to crank up the buzz.

Of course, there’s a catch.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is No. 2 in most Heisman polls and is the player feeding Smith the ball. It’s that symbiotic relationship powering Alabama’s offense through eight games.

Metchie’s comments about Smith weren’t made as an afront to Jones’ breakout season and Heisman chatter. The sophomore receiver offered some interesting perspective on a 24-yard touchdown pass he caught from Jones to cap the scoring against Auburn.

“Mac has been extremely accurate,” Metchie said. “In fact on my last touchdown catch this last game on a chop route, I really had only seen the ball leave his hand and land in mine, and kind of lost it in between in the lights. That says a lot about his accuracy, especially throwing the deep ball.”

Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.

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