Bean Pole. Too skinny. bone thin. Can he sustain the physicality?
The criticism surrounding DeVonta Smith before the Philadelphia Eagles traded two spots up to select him with the 10th overall pick was nothing new to the Amite, Louisiana native. These criticisms have never made much sense given what he’s been able to do with his six-foot, 170-pound frame. He concluded a decorated collegiate career by becoming the first receiver in two decades to win the Heisman Trophy after leading the NCAA in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns while helping lead Alabama to a National Championship.
But at this point, the pre-draft chatter is looking even more short-sighted. Smith currently leads the Eagles in receptions, receiving yards and receiving first downs, and he’s a tier-one Rookie of the Year contender. Smith spoke with GQ midseason to discuss how he takes care of his body, his favorite meals to cook himself and learning to love breakfast.
GQ: Given all you accomplished at Alabama and the start you’ve gotten off to as a pro, is it aggravating to still be answering questions about your weight?
Devonta Smith; I’ve gotten past the point where it’s aggravating. I’ve gotten to this point, and I’ve been doing everything I need to do, so I don’t feel I owe anybody an explanation.
Where did you develop that mindset to not let that be any hinderance to you on the field?
I grew up next to a park. The guys that were out there playing were always older than me or they were grown men. I was always out there with them. When I did play, it was always physical. I took a couple of elbows, hit the concrete a couple of times. Playing against those guys for a majority of my life while I was young, I feel like that’s where my edge comes from.
You recently signed with Therabody, who makes the Theragun and other recovery products. What have been some of your favorite products of yours to use so far?
The relationship has been great—just being able to take care of my body is very important. My favorite thing to use is the RecoveryAir boots. [Ed: these recovery boots also won a 2021 GQ Fitness Award.] After long days of practice, a lot of running and moving around, I like to use those to get my legs back under me.
Most athletes with a slim build are always eating. Is that the case with you?
Most definitely. I eat a lot and anything that I can. I cook a lot also. Eating isn’t the problem. The slim build is just in the genetics. That’s just how it is.
What are some of your favorite things to cook?
My favorite is crawfish etouffee. I do jambalaya, red beans, alfredo, and things like that.
How would you say your eating habits have changed as a pro since leaving Bama?
I eat breakfast now every day. When I was at Alabama, I didn’t eat breakfast like that. I would every now and then—but here, it’s every day. I’m at the facility so early now and you’re there all day. In college, there’s class and things like that. You’re rushing if you’re coming from a lift session, try to get to class and it’s easy to skip breakfast. Now, with being at the facility, I can get breakfast and I eat it every day.